THE Lusaka Magistrates’ Court has acquitted former Information permanent secretary in Rupiah Banda regime Samson Phiri, former Zambia Daily Mail managing director Davies Mataka and consultant Ngande Mwanajiti for alleged abuse of authority.
In this case, Phiri was jointly charged with Mataka and Mwanajiti for allegedly diverting K195,000 from the Public Media Support Fund at the Ministry of Information for the unlawful
production and printing of a private newspaper called The Zambian.
Ruling on case to answer, deputy registrar Aridah Chulu who sat as a magistrate, said the essential elements of the alleged offences in both counts had not been proved to warrant putting the three accused persons on their defence.
“I therefore acquit them forthwith,” magistrate Chulu ruled.
It was alleged that the three on dates unknown but between April 19, 2011 and November 2011 in Lusaka jointly and whilst acting together fraudulently and unlawfully diverted K195, 000 Public Media Support Fund from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services for the production and printing of a private Newspaper namely ‘The Zambian’.
Count two alleged that Mwanajiti on diverse dates between January and November, 2011 in Lusaka unlawfully caused to be printed and published a newspaper namely ‘The Zambian’ without it being registered with the director at National Archives Department.