NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili’s lawyers Keith Mweemba, Gilbert Phiri and Christopher Mundia have withdrawn representation as Kambwili’s advocates in a matter where he is facing charges of forgery, giving false information to a public officer and uttering a false document.
When the matter came up for opening of defence before principal resident magistrate David Simusamba, Gilbert Phiri, who spoke in a representative capacity, on behalf of Mweemba and Mundia, said they had decided to pull out as Kambwili’s lawyers owing to issues that they could not disclosed before court.
“We are unable to commence defence today for the simple reason that having anxiously considered developments in this matter, it has become prudent as defence that we are unable to proceed with conduct of this matter for reasons we can’t indulge into and we are merely here to ask that the court excuses us,” Phiri said.
Magistrate Simusamba granted the applicant by Phiri to have himself and others excused from defending Kambwili.
Following the withdrawal of his lawyers, Kambwili asked for the court’s time to raise money and engage other lawyers.
“My lawyers have intimated (explained) to me that due to professional issues, I need to look for money to pay other lawyers,” Kambwili said Magistrate Simusamba directed that the matter comes up in 14 days but Kambwili insisted that he need to raise money to pay new lawyers.
“Court: what about 21 days?” magistrate Simusamba asked him and he answered, “I don’t work your honour, I need a month to look for money.”
Court: “okay, I expect you to have the lawyers by then, matter is adjourned to March 5 at 09:00hrs.”
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) was signed by Kambwili on the pretext that they were signed by his son Mwamba when in fact not.