Former Miss Zambia, partner plead not guilty to motor vehicle theft

FORMER Miss Zambia Cynthia Chikwanda and her Zimbabwean partner Benjamin Chitunhu have pleaded not guilty to stealing a motor vehicle, being in possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime and malicious damage to property.

Chikwanda and Chitunhu, both of Longridge in Chilanga, appeared before principal resident magistrate David Simusamba and denied the charges.

The duo is still in custody after they failed to meet bail conditions.

It is alleged in the first count that Chitunhu on December 18, 2018 in Lusaka stole a motor vehicle registration ALJ 8125 valued at K69,000, the property of Patel Bhavin Kumar.

In the second count, Chitunhu is alleged to have on January 23 this year willfully and unlawfully damaged the rear screen and motor vehicle ignition altogether valued at K2,300, the property of Honest Sichone.

The third count alleges that Chitunhu was found in possession of property believed to have been stolen or unlawfully obtained.

In the fourth count, the duo is alleged to have on January 1 in Lusaka jointly and whilst acting together had in their possession two triangles tagged with registration No ALJ 8125, suspected of having been stolen or unlawfully obtained.

Magistrate Simusamba granted Chikwanda and Chitunhu K10,000 bail with two working sureties but they have not yet met the bail conditions.

Their lawyer James Mataliro informed the court that his clients have not yet met the bail conditions because the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) advocates wants to physically visit the organisations where the sureties obtained the introduction letters to sign for the two accused to confirm their authenticity.

The matter was adjourned to March 20 for commencement of trial.

Chikwanda and Chitunhu are also facing various charges before other courts.

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