THE State wants the infamous gold scam court case to be heard in camera (in private), but defence lawyer representing the accused persons have strongly rejected the application.
Yesterday, businessman Sedrick Kasanda and four others have pleaded not guilty to Espionage with the State applying that the criminal case be heard in camera.
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.
Kasanda and others were on August 14, 2023 arrested by the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) in connection with a foiled gold scam deal involving US$5.7 million at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA).
The KKIA operation led to the seizure of 602 pieces of what was initially suspected to be gold weighing 127.2kilogrammes and US$5million cash, five pistols, 126 rounds of ammunition and seven magazines and equipment used to measure gold.
The suspects initially appeared before a magistrate before being committed to the High Court for trial.
When the case came up yesterday before Judges Charles Zulu, Ruth Chibbabbuka and Situmbeko Chocho, Chief State advocate Nkumbiza Mumba informed the court that the Director of Public Prosecutions had issued consent to prosecute the matter.
The court was then informed that the correct first name for Kasanda is not Shadrick but Sederick.
This was after Judge Chibbabbuka asked for clarity on the name.
The accused are charged with two counts.
In the first, all five are charged with Espionage, contrary the section 3(d) of the State Security Act Chapter 111 of the Laws of Zambia.
On August 13, this year, Kasanda and the four others, while acting with others and without lawful excuse, dis acts which are likely to interfere with the necessary service of the KKIA for purposes which are prejudicial to the safety or interest of the republic of Zambia.
In the second count, Kasanda is charged alone with the offence of fraudulent dealing with metals or minerals where it is alleged that on the same day, the miner, while acting with others unknown, disposed of minerals with intent to defraud Michael Adel Michel Botros.
They all pleaded guilty before Ms Mumba then applied that the case be heard in camera, quoting section 15 of the State Security Act Chapter 111.
She said the proceedings should be held in camera on grounds that some of the evidence that will be given in this matter.
Ms Mumba said if the said evidence is given in view of the public, the same may be prejudicial to the interest of the republic.
But defence lawyers fervently objected to the application and argued that the matter is already in public domain.
Defence lawyer Abraham Mwansa, State Counsel, argued that “This particular application ought to be made by way of summons so that the State can pin point to such evidence which maybe prejudicial to the interest of the State”,” Mr Mwansa contended.
And another lawyer Makebi Zulu, argued that the State should have adduced evidence to show the prejudice that will be occasioned if the case is heard in public.
“This court has not been given an opportunity to assess a statement that will necessitate exclusion of the public. The law relating criminal matters is that they must be held in public and only for good cause can they be held in camera,” Mr Zulu said.
“This matter is in public domain and the continued incarceration of our clients is of great interest to the public. The public wants to know what happened at the airport,” defence lawyer Mwila Chibiliti added.
Defence lawyer Martha Mushipe also vemently objected to the application and contended that the State ambushed the defence.
“Criminal proceedings are never heard in camera although section 15 does allow such an application but it has a condition precedent. Allowing the proceeds to be in camera would be a great injustice to the accused. We humbly that the application be dismissed with the contempt it deserves,” Ms Mushipe argued.
However, Ms Mumba argued that providing evidence to show the prejudice that will be occasioned on the republic would be akin to render our application an academic exercise.
The court set Monday as date for ruling on the camera hearing application.
(Mwebantu, Thursday, 16th November, 2023)
PF Secretary General Nakachinda involved in a road traffic accident
PATRIOTIC Front (PF) Secretary General Raphael Nakachinda has been involved in Road Traffic Accident after the vehicle he was driving was hit into by a locomotive.
This happened when Mr Nakachinda who whilst driving an Isuzu vehicle failed to give way to a locomotive hence his vehicle was hit into.
Police spokesperson Rae Hamoonga said the incident occurred today around midnight along the Great North Road at Shikoswe railway crossing.
“Involved was Raphael Mangani Nakachinda aged 45 of house number 1794 Inkanga area of Kafue District who was driving an Isuzu registration number BAH 8695 from North to South who sustained bruised left πarm ,bruised back of the neck , bruised left ear and painful left leg, whilst the vehicle incurred a shattered front windscreen, extensively damaged right side body, rear passenger’s door and both rear lights,” he said.
He said also involved was Vincent Mabinda aged 45 of unknown house number a driver of a Goods Train from west to east direction which had no damages.
“The accident happened when Mr. Raphael Nakachinda who whilst driving an Isuzu vehicle failed to give way to a locomotive hence his vehicle was hit into by an on-coming Locomotive which had the right of way,” he said.
Mr Hamoonga said the accused has since been charged for the offence of Careless driving and his vehicle impounded at the Police station.
(Mwebantu, Saturday, 2nd December, 2023)
I am ready to risk my life to save the PF, says Edgar Lungu
“I AM ready for anything, including risking my own life to save the Patriotic Front (PF),” Former republican President Edgar Lungu has said.
Mr Lungu says victory is certain and that the machinations by the ruling United Party for National Development (UPND) in form of ‘Imingalato’ will not stop him.
He has also noted that he is aware that the next move by the UPND is to lift his immunity, but he is ready and not worried about the outcome.
Speaking when he addressed the media on a number or issues, he said that he did not intend to get back into active politics, but he did so to ensure that PF lives on.
He noted that this was from the backdrop of the machinations from Government to steal, kill and destroy the PF in order to continue their stay in power.
“The machinations became more when those in power wanted to state a coup in PF using their stooges. They were illegally endorsed by police, followed by the National Assembly to swot democracy. This becoming more vivid when the victim who in this case is the PF is treated as a villian and a state sponsored sect is being given protection by the law,” he said.
Mr Lungu claimed that unfortunately, for those in power, it is not possible to submerge the PF in an attempt of using ‘Imingalato.’
“In this regard, I made a call to all opposition s as to defend Zambia’s hard earned democracy. I called for unity of purpose and today I am humbled for the unanimous response. Victory is certain, we shall certainly defeat those scheming against democracy,” he said.
He further claimed that he came back into politics to save the PF from being stolen of killed by the government.
“I am aware the next move is to lift my immunity from prosection. This does not worry me. It is another ploy to divert people from their failure, ” he said.
(Mwebantu, Friday, 1st December, 2023)
‘Imbwili’ jailed for hate speech
OPPOSITION Patriotic Front (PF) member of the Central Committee and former Roan Member of Parliament Chishimba Kambwili has been handed a five-month prison sentence for hate speech by Kasama Magistrate’s Court.
In this case, Kambwili, 54, of house number 9, Wisteria Avenue, Luanshya was charged with the offence of expressing hatred and ridicule of the persons based on tribe and place of origin.
Kasama Resident Magistrate Samson Mumba found Kambwili after the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubts.
And in mitigation, Kambwili who spoke through his lawyer told court that he was a first offender, a family man and a person who previously served the nation as a cabinet minister.
He also urged the court to take into consideration his health.
In sentencing Kambwili, Magistrate Mumba said he took into account the mitigation.
He however said he sentenced Kambwili to five months imprisonment to deter would be offenders.
Meanwhile, after judgement was passed, Kambwili’s lawyer Kaizara Tembo told journalists his client will appeal against the verdict.
“Currently we are making efforts to lodge in an application for bail pending appeal,” he said.
Kambwili has since been transported to Milima Correctional Facility in Kasama.
(Mwebantu, Thursday, 30th November, 2023)