LUSAKA chief resident magistrate Davies Chibwili has condemned Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) officers who picked up Espionage suspect Shaderick Kasanda from a holding cell at court where he was scheduled to appear before him.
On Wednesday, Kasanda was scheduled to appear before magistrate Chibwili at 14:00hours but was picked up from holding cell within the Lusaka Magistrate’s complex, allegedly by DEC officers who were reportedly planning to imposed more charges on him on top of Espionage.
This prompted Kasanda’s lawyers to apply that contempt of court proceedings be instituted against the people who apprehended their client, an act deems disrespectful to the court.
Because of the absence of Kasanda, who is jointly charged with 10 others, at the time, the court proceeding was disturbed.
Magistrate Chibwili later summoned a female DEC officer who was reported to have released Kasanda from the holder cell but the investigator informed the court that she never released him from the cells but that some paramilitary officers picked him and went away with him in a bus.
But in his testimony during an inquiry in the alleged contempt of court, Mr Kasanda informed the court that he was picked up from the holding cell by five DEC officers named.
The accused said the officers dragged and beat him before demanding for some dollars to secure his release.
In his ruling today, the magistrate said the behaviour of the people who whisked away Kasanda from the holding cell was contemptuous and disturbed proceedings.
“Clearly, actions of the State agents interrupted the proceedings of the court,” the magistrate said.
He wondered why the law enforcers failed to exercise restraint and allow the accused appear in court first before carrying out their investigations.
“What urgency was there to wishing the accused away. The State should have waited. The person who directed that officers [pick the accused] was himself or herself was over zealous.I don’t wish to proceed further but to issue a stern warning that any repeat of what transpired will not be tolerated,” magistrate Chibwili said.
Later on, magistrate Chibwili freed six out of the 11 gold scam suspects who were jointly charged with Kasanda.
This was after he was informed that the Director of Public Prosecutions Gilbert Phiri had entered a nolle prosequi and that the State will nolonger continue with the proceedings.
Those who were freed are Zambian accountant Oswald Diangamo and five Egyptians Mounir Shaker Gerges Awad, a businessman, Mohamed Abdelhak Mohamed Gooda, a retired colonel, Yasser Batros, a security manager and Walid Botros, a businessman.
But five Zambians, Kasanda, Patrick Kawanu, a commercial pilot, Francis Makai-Mateyo, a state security officer, Robinson Moonga, a police officer and Mahogany Air chief executive officer Jim Belemu were committed to the High Court for trial in the Espionage charge they are jointly charged with.
Allegations are that on August 13, 2023 at KKIA, in the Chongwe, the 11 jointly and while acting together entered a protected KKIA, a protected place.
They suspects allegedly entered the premises for purposes prejudicial to the safety and interest of the Republic of Zambia.
The five will appear in the High Court at the next criminal session of the High Court.
Four other foreigners, including one Spanish, one Dutch, one Nevisian, connected to the same case are still reportedly detained and recently applied for bail pending formal charges but their status quo is not known.
All the suspects in this case were arrested two weeks ago at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, during an operation which resulted in the seizure of over US$5 million and 602 pieces of suspected Gold weighing 127.2 kilograms.
The operation led by DEC also saw the commission seizing the Global Express T7-WW on which the seized items were found and another aircraft belonging to a local airline whose make is King Air B190.
(Mwebantu, Sunday, 2nd September, 2023)
Mutale Mwanza dragged to court over alleged assault
MEDIA personality and talk show host Mutale Mwanza has been sued for allegedly yelling at a motorist while holding a gun, an incident which allegedly left the female victim, who is a doctor at the University Teaching Hospitals (UTH), traumatized.
The complainant, Natasha Mulenga, has complained that the incident left her extremely traumatized and she now wants the Lusaka High Court to order the outspoken entrepreneur to pay her damages for assault.
Court records show that the incident happened on November 5, 2023, when the two were stuck in traffic before the defendant, Ms Mwanza, emerged from her car with a gun.
The statement of claim filed at the Lusaka High Court shows that Dr Mulenga was on the material day driving home when she found a broken-down car in Chainda area and that during the time, traffic was building behind the stationery automobile.
The plaintiff submits that she then decided to keep to her lane and pass the scene in order for the built-up traffic to flow.
But before her vehicle passed the broken-down car, Ms Mwanza had started flashing vehicle lights at the doctor’s car and decided the defendant then decided to bypass the broken-down vehicle, joining Ms Mulenga’s lane.
The plaintiff submits that when Ms Mwanza blocked her car, the defendant(Ms Mwanza) then proceeded to disembark from her vehicle while carrying a firearm in her right hand.
Ms Mwanza then approached Dr Mulenga’s vehicle while shouting at her and banging on her vehicle.
“Arising from that, the plaintiff suffered extreme trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, severe anxiety, physiological distress, sleep disorder, experienced recurring nightmares about the event and gastrointestinal upset,” she submits in part.
The doctor adds that as a result of the injury suffered, she had to be placed on a mandatory 10 day medical leave due to diminished concentration and had to see a psychotherapist at the Adult and Emergency Hospital at UTH.
She now seeks damages for assault, among other reliefs
(Mwebantu, Thursday, 7th December, 2023)
PF camps battle their leadership arguments in court, as Judge reserves ruling
THE Miles Sampa led Patriotic Front(PF) group has urged the Lusaka High Court to dismiss the application in which the Rapheal Nakacinda camp has filed.
During hearing yesterday, Mr Sampa’s lawyers submitted that the case against him be dimissed because there is already another lawsuit pending before Judge Timothy Katanekwa which is related to the same party leadership case.
The lawyers submitted before Judge Situmbeko Chocho that in the other proceedings, Judge Timothy Katanekwa has not yet determine whether Raphael Nakacinda and Given Lubinda were legally appointed.
The duo were appointed and they later suspended Mr Sampa from the party over alleged gross misconduct.
In this matter, Mr Nakacinda and others, among them Mporokoso lawmaker Brian Mundubile want Judge Chocho to restore an injunction she had earlier granted in their favour.
The injunction prevented Mr Sampa from carrying himself as PF president until determination of a lawsuit against him.
But the Judge later discharged the same injunction which the Nakacinda team now want restored.
The Judge has reserved rulings on the matter to a later date to be announced.
(Mwebantu, Tuesday, 5th December, 2023)
Mine accident claims lives as victims feared drowned in buried tunnels
FOLLOWING a mine accident in Chingola district on the Copperbelt, reports suggest the victims that were buried alive are feared to have drowned.
The victims are suspected to have drowned in the tunnels where they were digging copper ore after heavy rains and landslides buried the tunnels.
Police received a report of drowning from Abedenigo Keshinako who has since identified seven of his colleagues that were victims of mine accident at Kasenseli of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM)open pit.
A combined rescue team of police, Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) staff and fire brigade have however, not yet retrieved any of the bodies.
Police spokesperson Rae Hamoonga said the incident occurred on November 30th between 21:00 hours and 22:00 hours.
“Mr Keshinako reported that those that are suspected to have drowned are Christopher Chungu ,Silvester other names not known ,John other name not known ,a person only known as Bashi Prisca , Joe other names not known,Gold other names not known and another one only known as Bashi Emma,” he said.
He noted that those identified together with others drowned in the tunnels where they were digging copper ore after heavy rains.
“The Police, KCM rescue team and fire brigade visited the scene and it was discovered that there were two sites within the pit where the victims were buried. The bodies are not yet retrieved as efforts are being made to retrieve them,” he said.
(Mwebantu, Saturday, 2nd December, 2023)