TWO witnesses told a magistrate that the court record Amos Chanda is accused of stealing is missing, not stolen.
The two witnesses separately said this during cross examination by the former presidential press aide’s defence lawyers.
The first witness was Annie Mweemba, a registry clerk while the second was Catherine Tembo, a Network support staff.
This is in a case Chanda, who is former State House press aide, is accused of stealing a court record and destroying evidence between May 12, 2020 and October 1 this year.
The alleged stolen document involved a case where Chanda was jointly charged with Intelligent Mobility Solutions board chairman Walid El Nahas and former Road Transport and Safety Agency director Zindaba Soko.
In the record of proceedings, the then Director of Public Prosecutions had entered a nolle prosequi on May 12, 2020, according to a statement issued by the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) who arrested the accused last year.
In her testimomy, Ms Tembo narrated that sometime in October 2022, her supervisor asked her to retrieve the scanned copy of the court record in question and she did so as instructed.
She said Ms Mweemba later printed out the document which was later given to investigators from the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC).
In cross examination, Ms Mweemba was asked to confirm that “No such record is stolen, right?”.
“I was only told of a missing record, she replied to lawyer Timmy Munalula.
“Was there any report by yourselves that the hard copy that you had scanned was stolen?” Mr Munalula further asked as the witness replied in the negative.
Later on, Ms Mweemba testified that around October, 2022, senior clerk of court Zintambo Sakala asked her to find a case record involving Nahas who was jointly charged with Chanda and Soko.
“I went in the registry where I put all the records. I went in the boxes where I keep records for Honourable Lameck Mwale but I did not find it and I asked the clerk for more time to find it,” she testified.
Ms Mweemba said she was given about three weeks to find the document but to no avail.
“I went to the clerk of court and reported that I could not find it. DEC officers who wanted the document got a statement from me. This record [in question] was entered in the main register for Honourable [Lameck] Mwale allocated on January 2, 2020,” she said.
She said a soft copy of the missing record was printed out and given to the DEC officers.
In cross examination, she was asked if she would know if the record was stolen or is missing, the witness said the document is missing.
(Mwebantu, Friday, 21st July, 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)
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)
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)