LUSAKA magistrate Chrispin Hampungani has recused himself from presiding over the case in which Chawama PF member of parliament Tasila Lungu dragged Chitambala Mwewa of Simon Mwewa Television to court for libel and cyber bullying.
Magistrate Hampungani however, declined to vacate the K50,000 bail in his own recognizance he granted Mwewa on Thursday.
Tasila, through her lawyer Makebi Zulu, applied that magistrate Hampungani recuses himself from presiding over the case because of the questionable manner in which he granted the accused person bail on Thursday late afternoon.
When the case came up, Mwewa, who is represented by lawyer Andy Wright was before court while Tasila, the complainant, was not in court but was represented by her lawyer.
Makebi submitted that he had consent from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to prosecute the matter.
“I had intimated to Mr Wright that we approach the court in chambers but he declined to do so and opted for an open court. It has come to our attention that by warrant of arrest that was granted on October 5, 2021, the accused was arrested on October 7, 2021 and the return date was October 8, 2021 which is today.
In the warrant, the police officer was asked to present the officer before you today, October 8, 2021 but it has been brought to our attention that yesterday on October 7, 2021, the accused was apprehended and arrested by chief inspector George Konde in charge court operations. We have been advised that having apprehended the accused, he received a call from court on phone number 0977777197, Chiti Muuka, who is believed to be a cousin to the accused on which line the court asked the said officer to bring the accused to court,” Zulu said.
He said there was no formal application for bail on the record and the prosecution was not available in chambers when the case came up.
Zulu said his client was concerned because the bench warrant was returnable today and was not aware of yesterday’s proceedings in which bail was granted in chambers.
He said the prosecution would have loved to be heard on the bail application but that was not the case.
“The ways by which the court was moved are unknown and in view of that, it’s our prayer that the said bail be vacated and secondly, that the court recuses itself from this matter and matter be sent back for reallocation arising from the circumstances,” he said.
However, Wright argued that the offence committed by the accused is a misdemeanor and the court had the right to grant bail.
Magistrate Hampungani ruled that indeed the case is a misdemeanor and any court could have granted bail.
“But since the complainant has made allegations against the manner in which the bail was granted. I have decided to recuse myself from this case because I don’t want to be seen to be interfering with justice. I hereby send the case back for reallocation,” said magistrate Hampungani.
PF is not shaken about the intended asset recovery programme, says Given Lubinda
PATRIOTIC Front Vice President Given Lubinda says the party is not shaken about the intention by the UPND administration to embark on the asset recovery programme.
In an interview, Mr Lubinda has since advised the UPND government to quickly start the programme.
He said the sooner the programme is embarked on, the better it will be for the UPND government to end the drama of insinuating and banding all PF members as thieves.
“If they are members of the PF that they know as thieves let them pursue those specific people, instead of labelling the whole party as an organisation of thieves.
Mr Lubinda added that it is not true that every one in the PF is a thief, hence the sooner they do it the better.
He has since urged the UPND government to ensure the program is conducted in a legal manner by following all the laid down government procedure.
“They are welcome and let them proceed to do so,” Mr Lubinda said.
Police arrest Kampyongo in Shiwang’andu for malicious damage to property
POLICE have arrested Andrew Kampyongo aged 41 and Kellyson Chilekwa aged 29 both of Village Teleni, Chief Mukwikile, District in Shiwang’andu for Malicious Damage to Property.
In a media statement, Police spokesperson Rae Hamoonga has told Mwebantu that Kampyongo and Chilekwa allegedly maliciously damaged a samsung cell phone valued at K1,000 property of Mike Mulenga aged 40 of Village Chafilwa, Chief Mukwikile, District Shiwang’andu.
He said the duo is also alleged to have damaged a front screen for a Toyota Land Cruiser Registration AAK 1031 valued at K4,500 and Rear tail lights valued at K750 property of Dr Albert Munanga.
Mr Hamoonga said Kampyongo and Chilekwa also damaged JVC Speakers valued at K12,000 property of the United Party for National Development (UPND) Party.
He said the total value of damaged properties is K18,250.
Mr Hamoonga said the incidents are alleged to have occurred on July 10 this year at around 10:00 hours at Kalalantekwe Market Square, Chief Mukwikile, District Shiwang’andu.
“They have been detained in Police Custody and will appear in Court soon,” hee said.
Faith Musonda, surrenders her house and money to the state
FAITH Musonda, the woman behind the K65 million and US$57,900 has surrendered them to the State in exchange for her freedom.The State has also taken possession of the house in which the money was found.
In a media statement, Anti-Corruption Commission public relations officer Jonathan Siame said the possession follows the conclusion of investigations by a joint investigative team from ACC, the Drug Enforcement Commission, Zambia Police and the Financial Intelligence Centre.
“The general public is hereby informed that the Joint Investigative Team from the Anti-Corruption Commission, Zambia Police Service, Drug Enforcement Commission and Financial Intelligence Centre has since concluded investigations involving Margaret Chisela Musonda, alias Faith Musonda in which she was found in possession of ZMW 65, 333, 046 and US$ 57, 900 which was discovered in a house in New Kasama,” he said.
Mr Siamme said on Friday 15th October 2021, the State, using Section 80 of the Anti-Corruption Act No.3 of 2012, entered into an undertaking not to institute criminal proceedings against Ms. Musonda on condition that she fulfils the requirements of Section 80 of the Anti-Corruption Act No3. Of 2012, which she did.
He said Section 80 of the Act allows the State to grant amnesty to accused persons in certain instances on condition that they admit wrongdoing and return what they wrongfully acquired through corrupt practices.
“The advantage of using Section 80 in cases of asset recovery is that it saves on time by eliminating the prosecution process which can be lengthy, leading to assets losing value or getting damaged, and it also saves on the cost of investigation and prosecution.
According to Section 80 (3) of the Anti-Corruption Act No.3 of 2012, The Anti-Corruption Commission “may tender an undertaking, in writing, not to institute criminal proceedings against a person who has given a full and true disclosure of all material facts relating to past corrupt conduct and an illegal activity by that person or others; and, has voluntarily paid, deposited or refunded all property the person acquired through corruption or illegal activity,” he stated.
Mr Siame said as required by law, Ms Musonda has since made a full disclosure of the money in question and has willingly surrendered the same to the State.
“She was charged with Possession of Property Reasonably Suspected to be Proceeds of Crime contrary to Section 71 of the Forfeiture of Proceeds of Crimes Act No.19 of 2010.
The State has also taken possession of the House in New Kasama, in which the money was found. The House, property Subdivision No.4 of Subdivision B of Lot 11279/M, valued at K 6 Million was owned by OCK Investments Limited, a company in which Ms. Musonda is a majority shareholder. The property was reasonably suspected to have been proceeds of crime,” he said.
Mr Siame explained that after fulfilling the requirements of Section 80 of the Anti-Corruption Act No. 3 of 2012, the State undertook to not institute criminal proceedings against the company.
He said the Joint Investigative Team is working timely to recover suspected illegally obtained assets and funds, and will continue to pursue all available avenues to speed up the process of recovering assets and other proceeds of crime.
“We urge all well-meaning Zambians who have any information with regard to any suspected illegally obtained assets to come forward and report to any of the institutions aforementioned,” he said.