NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili has been found with a case to answer by the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court in a matter where he is facing charges of forgery, uttering a false document and giving false information to a public officer.
Meanwhile, Kambwili’s lawyers protested against the court’s decision to impose a date on which the latter will open his defence.
When the matter came up for ruling on case to answer, principal resident magistrate David Simusamba placed Kambwili on his defence as the prosecutions had established a prima facie case against him in all the three counts.
In his ruling magistrate Simusamba indicated that he would not base his decision on whether or not the prosecution had proved the case beyond reasonable doubt.
He said his concern was whether the state had produced enough evidence which would warrant him to place Kambwili on his defence or acquit him.
“I find that the prosecutions have established a prima facie case against the accused in all the three counts and I hereby place him on his defence,” ruled magistrate Simusamba.
At this point Kambwili’s lawyer Keith Mweemba indicated that his client would call defence witnesses.
However, the setting of dates for defence became a challenge as lawyers Mweemba, Gilbert Phiri and Christopher Mundia indicated that the accused would be appearing in other courts next month and that they would be going for an industrial break.
Magistrate Simusamba asked the lawyers to spare a day on other dates when Kambwili would not be appearing before court, but the court’s alternative still proved futile as the lawyers insisted that they had other matters to attend to prompting magistrate Simusamba to impose December 4, as date for Kambwili’s defence.
The lawyers tried to negotiate with the court to select a suitable date for defence but to no avail as magistrate Simusamba insisted that his decision was final. This did not sit well with Kambwili’s lawyers who indicated that they would not be present at the imposed date.
Kambwili’s charges are in relation to the registration of his company Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services Limited.
According to the complainant Economic and Equity Party leader Chilufya Tayali, the registration of Mwamona had anomalies as a different national identity card was used to register Kambwili’s son Mwamba as one of the directors of Mwamona.
Tayali’s contention was that Mwamba was a minor to obtain a National Registration Card (NRC) at the time he was registered as a director of Mwamona.
He disclosed that the documents in particular, a no change return, at Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) were signed by Kambwili on the pretext that they were signed by his son Mwamba when in fact not.
During trial the court heard that the NRC that was used to register Mwamba as a director belonged to Kambwili’s sister Sampa.
The matter comes up on December 4.