THE matter in which businessman Shaderick Kasanda and four others are charged with Espionage failed to proceed into plea because the Director of Public Prosecutions has not yet issued consent to prosecute the matter.
Consequently, the Lusaka High Court adjourned the case to November 15 this year for possible plea and trial.
Kasanda is jointly charged with pilot Patrick Kawanu, State security officer Francis Makai Mateyo, KKIA police commanding officer Robson Moonga and Mahogany Air proprietor Dr Jim Belemu.
Initially, the accused were jointly charged with five Egyptians, Walid Fahmi Botros, Mounir Gerges Awad, Colonel Mohamed Gouda, Yasser Mokhtar Abdelghafor and Micheal Adel Michel Botros all Egyptians and ZamQlik solutions limited managing director and Zambian accountant Oswald Diangamo.
But the Egyptians and Mr Diangamo were later set at liberty after the State entered a nolle prosequi in their favour.
Kasanda and four others were committed to the High Court for trial.
On August 14, 2023, the suspects were arrested by the Drug Enforcement Commission in connection with a thwarted gold scam deal involving US$5.7 million.
The suspects arrived at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport aboard a private jet for some business deal which was foiled when the DEC intercepted the jet which was laden with 602 alleged fake gold bars weighing 127.2 Kg.
Other items seized on the Global Express T7-WW aircraft are seven magazines, 126 rounds of ammunition five firearms and travel permits belonging to the foreign nationals.
This morning, Kasanda and four others appeared before High Court judges Charles Zulu, Ruth Chibbabbuka and Situmbeko Chocho for plea.
But State advocate Nkumbiza Mumba informed the court that the DPP had not not issued instructions to prosecute the matter.
“The matter was scheduled for the taking of plea this morning. However, the court will note that the consent to prosecute the accused persons before court as required by section 14 of the State Proceedings Act Cap 111 of the Laws of Zambia has not been granted by the learned DPP, ” Ms Mumba said.
She then applied that the matter be adjourned to Wednesday and that efforts are being made for consent to prosecute to be issued in the matter.
The defence team did not object to the application to adjourn the matter.
But one of the defence lawyers representing Kasanda, Jonas Zimba, asked the court to order the State to make available the warn and caution statements for all the accused persons as well as any missing depositions for witnesses they intend to call.
In response, Ms Mumba said the State will ” undertake to rectify the situation and serve all the necessary depositions and statement on counsel before the matter comes up for plea”.
(Mwebantu, Monday, 13th November, 2023)
Herbalist says former First Lady ‘grabbed’ her properties to recover her missing US$400,000
TRIAL in a case former First Lady Esther Lungu is accused of theft of cars opened yesterday with a herbalist testifying against her.
Elizabeth Phiri tetsief how how she was picked and beaten by three armed police officers who later took her to former President Edgar Lungu’s house where Mrs Lungu demanded US$400,000 from her.
Ms Phiri said she was told that the money in question was initially given to Mr Lungu’s nice Catherine Banda who later told the Lungu’s that she gave the money to her(Ms Phiri).
In this case, Mrs Lungu, Ms Banda and there others, who include two police officers, are charged with theft of cars and money laundering involving over K1.5million.
Mrs Lungu is also accused of concealing US$400,000, money reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Other suspects are James Phiri and Lee Chisulo, both police officers, Kapambwe Lungu.
Between August 9, 2021 and September 30, 2022, the five allegedly stole a Mitsubishi canter worth K 320,000, belonging to Ms Phiri.
It is also alleged that the accused stole a Toyota Alex worth K 110,000 belonging to Furhana Patel.
Mrs Lungu and others are also accused of stealing a certificate of title relating to stand number S/LUSAKA/333/2977 situated in Libala, worth K 1,050,000 belonging to Ms Phiri.
During continued trial, Ms Phiri narrated how in 2020, she met Ms Banda who sought her herbal services so that she can find a husband and bear more children.
The herbalist said after the services were rendered at K4, 000, Ms Banda, who told her she was an orphan, became close to her and she even introduced Ms Banda to her daughter, Furhana.
“She [Ms Banda] started phoning telling me that she was at Furhana’s place in Libala,” the witness said.
Ms Phiri said sometime last year, she was picked up by plain clothed armed policemen who also beat up together with Ms Banda.
“While beating her [Ms Banda] they said they want the ‘parcel’.
“Catherine pointed at me and said she gave it [parcel] to me. They held me and started beating me and asked me to give them the parcel,” she said.
Ms Phiri said the three men put her in a van and took her to her house where they searched the rooms.
The armed men continued to demand for “the parcel” and threatened to kill her before she was detained at a police cell and later taken to Mr Lungu’s residence.
“When they took me into the house, Mrs Lungu was seated directly to the door. When I looked to the side, I saw Mr Edgar [Lungu],” she said.
She said Mr Lungu explained that she was taken to the house in connection with a missing US$40,000 he had given Mrs Lungu.
“He said ‘My wife got that money and gave it to my niece, Catherine Banda”.
Ms Phiri said she expressed ignorance about the US$400,000.
The court heard that Ms Lungu then instructed that Ms Phiri be taken back to her home because she appeared confused.
She said the following morning, Mrs Lungu phoned her and asked her to go to her house in Ibex.
Ms Phiri started off to Ibex accompanied by her daughter Furhana.
On arrival, Mrs Lungu asked Ms Banda to enlist the goods the witness bought purportedly using the US$400,000.
Ms Phiri said Mrs Lungu called the three accused men to pick her and proceed to grab the properties she bought using the US$400,000.
“They got a canter, a Runx and Alext for my child Fahana, they got the white books for the vehicle and the title deed of a property in Libala,” she narrated.
She told the court that she wa never given the US$400,000 and that the money she bought the house was given to her by Chief Mukuni of Kazungula who is her grand father.
(Mwebantu, Tuesday, 28th November, 2023)
Speaker sued for the third time.
WITHIN a month after a civil society organisation and Mporokoso lawmaker Brian Mundubile sued Speaker of the National Assembly Nelly Mutti in connection with activities in Parliament, there is a third lawsuit against her.
In the new case, Chilubi Member of Parliament Mulenga Fube is challenging Ms Mutti’s decision to suspend 16 Patriotic Front(PF) Members of Parliament and two independents without being fully heard.
Mr Fube wants the Lusaka High Court to declare that a reasonable tribunal properly directing its mind would not arrive at such a decision as made by Ms Mutti.
He also wants a declaration that Ms Mutti’s decision to suspend 16 PF members of Parliment and two Independents without being afforded an opportunity to be heard with sufficient time and facility is unreasonable.
The lawmaker also wants a declaration that the Speaker’s move to withhold salaries due to the MPs, which salaries are an incident of the fact that the salaries are due by reason of the fact that one is a MP, is illegal,null and void.
Also, Mr Fube seeks an order of certiorari to remove into the High Court for the purpose of quashing the said decision by the speaker to suspend the said MPs without afforded sufficient time and facility.
Mr Fube also wants an order that the grant of leave for judicial review or the decision should operate as a stay of all acts and further proceedings in pursuance of the decisions to which this application relates.
In the alternative, he seeks an order that the said decision to suspend the affected MPs and from getting a salary was procedurally improper, made in bad faith ,and thus illegal and null and void.
This is according to a notice of application for leave to apply for Judicial review, seeking to challenge the Speaker’s decision to suspect the lawmakers.
“If permission to apply for judicial review is granted, a direction that the hearing of the application for judicial review be expedited,” he submits.
He further submits that the Ms Mutti’s decision to change the sitting arrangement in the National Assembly and replace Brian Mundubile with Robert Chabinga as leader of the opposition was subjudice because the matter relating change of PF office bearers is still active in court.
In another active case, Mporokoso Member of Parliament Brian Mundubile has sued Ms Mutti challenging her decision to replace him with Mafinga PF MP Robert Chabinga.
Mr Mundubile argues that Speaker Mutti’s decision to appoint Chabinga as leader of the opposition was illegal, irrational and procedurally improper, as she acted in excess of her powers and should therefore be declared null and void.
He now wants the court to stay the decision that was made by Speaker Mutti to replace him until Some few weeks ago, Institute of Law, Policy Research and Human Rights sued Ms Mutti in the Constitutional Court seeking interpretation of the constitutionality of her deicion to accept Chabinga as Leader of the Opposition.
(Mwebantu, Saturday, 25th November, 2023)
Zambian delegation explores business prospects in Italy with president Hichilema’s call for mutual collaboration
THIRTY-FOUR Zambian companies, facilitated by the Zambia Chamber of Commerce and supported by the Zambia Development Agency have engaged in a productive exchange of views on the business potential between Zambia and Italy in Rome.
And President Hakainde Hichilema has urged Italian companies to explore promising opportunities in various sectors, including agriculture, energy, mining, infrastructure, health, and tourism, all of which Zambia offers in abundance.
Emphasising the interconnectedness of the global community, President Hichilema encouraged businesses to collaborate beyond bureaucratic boundaries and segregation.
He stressed the crucial importance of fostering mutual partnerships benefiting both nations, leveraging advanced technology, innovative solutions, and accessible capital.
President Hichilema expressed optimism about tangible transactions resulting from the forum, inviting businesses facing challenges in setting up operations in Zambia to bring them forward for resolution.
“Recognizing that Italian businesses possess advanced technology and capital, while we boast critical mineral endowment, we emphasized the crucial importance of fostering mutual partnerships that benefit both countries, through top-notch technology, innovative solutions, and accessible capital,” he said.
(Mwebantu, Wednesday, 22nd November, 2023)