SEVEN court officials who were last week re-arrested after the Director of Public Prosecutions entered a nolle prosequi in their drug trafficking-case yesterday appeared in the Lusaka Magistrate’ Court on similar charges. Emmanuel Chirwa, Bearvan Mengo, Mathews Mukanda, Victor Nzaila, Florence Mushoka, O’Brian Muyunda (all court interpreters) and Didie Kangwa, a senior clerk of court, are jointly charged with two businessmen Eric Chipango and Emmanuel Chimba for trafficking in 24 kilogrammes of cocaine.
The cocaine, which the judiciary officers and businessmen allegedly trafficked and stole was seized from three men who are currently appearing before chief resident magistrate Kenneth Mulife. The drugs, which were exhibits in a matter before magistrate Mulife, went missing in August. When the accused appeared before magistrate Mulife, he allocated the matter to Siavonga-based magistrate Victoria Chitulangoma. However, magistrate Chitulangoma was not around for the accused to take plea and it is expected they would appear before her today.
Last week, the DPP discontinued the case that Kafue magistrate Kawama Mwanfuli was handling after one witness testified and the accused were re-arrested before leaving the courtroom. The accused are now facing four counts of drug trafficking and two counts of theft of cocaine. Chipango, Chimba, Chirwa, Mengo, Mukanda, Nzaila, Mushoka , Muyunda and Kangwa are all facing two counts of trafficking in narcotic drugs while Chirwa faces a third count of trafficking in 4.5 grammes of cocaine.
Chirwa is further facing a charge of stealing 4.5 grammes of cocaine. It is alleged that the offences were committed between April 1, 2017 and September 14, 2018.