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Court official turns witness after state enters nolle in her case

THE State has entered a nolle prosequi in a case where court official Florence Mushoka was jointly charged with eight others for trafficking in 24 kilogrammes of cocaine.

Mushoka has since been turned into a State witness in the matter.

Mushoka was jointly charged with fellow court officials Emmanuel Chirwa, Bearvan Mengo, Mathews Mukanda, Victor Nzaila, O’Brian Muyunda who are interpreters, Didie
Kangwa a senior clerk of court and businessmen Eric Chipango and Emmanuel Chimba for drug trafficking and stealing of cocaine.

The cocaine allegedly went missing at the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court where it was kept as an exhibit in another case.

State prosecutor Sipholiano Phiri told magistrate Victoria Chitulangoma that the State was ready to proceed with their last witness and informed her that before they could go ahead, the court was informed that the Director of Public Prosecutions had discontinued the case against Mushoka through a nolle prosequi.

Mushoka’s defence lawyer Zevfyanji Sinkala said he had no objection to the way the State wished to proceed in the matter.

And magistrate Chitulangoma stood down the matter for few minutes before finally discharging Mushoka following the nolle entered.

Meanwhile, Phiri asked Mushoka to take the witness stand so as to testify in the case.
However, the defence team led by Keith Mweemba objected, saying they could not proceed because another defence counsel Jonas Zimba was not available.
Mweemba submitted that the defence was surprised with the nolle entered and needed to obtain instructions from their clients.
He said the entering of the nolle and calling Mushoka to testify in the matter happened “faster than the speed of lightning” and he was therefore seeking an adjournment so that the defence could put its house in order.
Magistrate Chitulangoma adjourned the case to tomorrow in the interest of justice.

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