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Esther, four others deny stealing cars, as ECL ponders on those calling for his political come back



FORMER First Lady Esther Lungu, and four others have pleaded not guilty to theft of three cars and a certificate of title, charges involving over K1.5million.

Ms Lungu is jointly charged with police officers James Phiri and Lee Chisulo, of Obama and New Chilenje, respectively while the other accused are Kapambwe Lungu and Catherine Banda.

In count one it is alleged that between August 9, 2021 and September 30,2022, the five stole a Mitsubishi canter registration number BAV 5282 worth K 320,000, belonging to Elizabeth Phiri, who is reportedly the former first lady’s niece.

In the second count, allegations are that between the same dates, all the accused persons stole a Toyota Runx Registration number BLA 9772 valued at K 110,000 , the property of Ms Phiri.

It is alleged in count three that between the same dates, the accused stole a Toyota Alex registration number BAV 3986 valued at K 110,000 belonging to Furhana Patel.
Allegations in the fourth count are that between the same dates, Ms Lungu and others stole a certificate of title relating to stand number S/LUSAKA/333/2977 situated in Libala , Lusaka water works worth K 1,050,000, the property of Ms Phiri.

In count five, it was alleged that between the same dates, Ms Lungu, a housewife according to the indictment, had in her possession or concealed US$400,000.

When the case came up today, the courtroom was packed with a number of sympathisers including former President Edgar Lungu who accompanied his wife.
The prosecution team applied that the indictment be amended to remove count five.

“The new indictment will have four counts except for what was count five in the previous indictment,” a state advocate said.
After the request was granted, Ms Lungu and others took plea and denied the charges before Magistrate Sinvula adjourned the case to November 27, 2023.

After leaving the courtroom, journalists mobbed Mr Lungu and asked for his views regarding calls for him to re-join politics.
Not so different from what he said on Monday at the same premises, Mr Lungu, a lawyer, first asked the female journalist if she wanted him to be back[into politics”.

“I will think about it,” he said as his guard ensured the state’s embarks on his car.
There has been a huge debate on the manner the former President conducts himself with others saying his public appearances, jogging or at church, and some utterances are somewhat political in nature.
Now, no sooner had Mr Lungu left the magistrate’s complex, than a video of him at the market started trending some minutes later.

(Mwebantu, Thursday, 5th October, 2023)


President Hichilema to continue living at Community House, as Concourt dismisses petition against his stay at the private house



THE Constitutional Court has dismissed for lack of a merit Patriots for Economic Progress president Sean Tembo’s petition challenging President Hakainde Hichilema’s continued stay at his private house instead of shifting to State House.

This means that the President will continue staying at his private Community House in New Ksama.

Passing judgment, Constitutional Court deputy judge president Arnold Shilimi  said the court found Mr Tembo’s petition to have lacked merit  because the constitution does not compel the President to move to Nkwazi House.

Further, the judge said the court found that Mr Tembo’s plea for the court to declare an order compelling the President to shift to State House is not tenable considering that no law that obliges the Head of State to reside at State House.

“We find that in the absence of any Constitutional provision or any other law that compels the President to reside at State House,and in light of the Respondent’s[Attorney General] submission on the dilapidated state of Nkwazi House requiring high cost of renovations.

“The alleged constitutional breaches relating to the President’s alleged refusal to shift to State House lacks merit and is misconceived,” Judge Shilima said on behalf of other judges who heard the case.

“We find that the alleged breach relating to the right to life is improperly before this court for want of jurisdiction over part iii of the constitution,” he added.

The court consequently dismissed the petition for lack of merit.

In this matter, Mr Tembo petitioned the Constitutional Court over President Hichilema’s refusal to relocate to State House since he was elected in August, 2021.

The politician had submitted that the President was spending huge sums of money through his trips from Community House to State House on a daily basis and putting at risk the safety of many Zambians on the route he is using to access his house.

He  further argued that the huge sums of money which was being used on a daily basis, about K126 million per year, could be channeled to other areas of need such as procurement of drugs in hospitals and books for readers in schools.

However, in reply, the State, through Attorney General Mulilo Kabesha, argued that the petition lacked merit because Mr Tembo  did not cite the particular article or law which mandates the president actually reside at State House.

He also argued that accommodation of the past Presidents at State House was only a matter of practice or custom and not law.

(Mwebantu, Saturday, 9th December, 2023)

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Masturbation comment invites Sean Tembo to court



PATRIOTS for Economic Progress president Sean Tembo has pleaded not guilty to using insulting language when he compared the intervention to sale cheaper ZNS mealie meal in the wake of escalating prices of the commodity prices to masturbation.

The outspoken businessman has been charged with use of insulting language which he allegedly uttered on October 17 this year, the eve of National Day of Prayer, Fasting, Repentance and Reconciliation.

Allegations are that on the material day, the accused said “Bally is selling a few bags of ZNS mealie meal using Shoprite, hoping to create a perception of low price is equal to masturbation”.

The sentiments are alleged to likely provoke Abel Mashowo, who reported the case, to break the law or commit any offence against Tembo.

When the case was called today, a magistrate readout the charged and asked the accused whether he understood it.

In response, Mr Tembo responded in the affirmative and pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The court adjourned the case was adjourned to next month for commencement of trial.

(Mwebantu, Friday,  8th December, 2023)

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DPP wants more punishment for CK



THE State, through the Director of Public Prosecutions, Gilbert Phiri, has filed a notice to appeal against the five months sentence imposed of Chishimba Kambwili after he was found guilty of promoting hate speech by uttering tribal remarks.

On Thursday, Mr Kambwili, a Patriotic Front member of the central committee, was sentenced to five months imprisonment with hard labour.

This was after the Kasama Magistrate’s Court found him guilty of the offence of expressing or showing hatred, ridicule, or contempt for persons because of tribe or place of origin.

After being hailed, the politician appealed against the verdict and was later released on bail pending hearing of his appeal against the sentence.

But the DPP has filed a cross appeal seeking to challenge the five months jail term imposed on the outspoken former Roan MP.

Mr Phiri feels the sentence was too lenient and that when his application is being heard, he wants to be present in court..

“I, the above named appellant(DPP) , hereby give notice that I desire to appeal to the High Court against the sentence of the accused person.

I desire to be present when the court considers the appeal,” the notice of appeal, which has been circulated online, reads in part.

(Mwebantu, Thursday, 7th December, 2023)

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