LUSAKA magistrate Nsunge Chanda has threatened to free NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili of a charge of contempt of court if the state fails to try the matter at the next sitting.
This is due to failure by the state to prosecute the matter as the state advocate in conduct of the matter Mukumi Chipawa was reported to be out of jurisdiction on other duties.
In this case, Kambwili is facing one count of contempt of court for allegedly tampering with documents relating to his company, Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services limited at Patents and Companies Registration Authority (PACRA) which was a subject of an active matter before principal resident magistrate David Simusamba.
When the matter came up yesterday, State prosecutor Valerian Chulu told the court that the State was not ready to proceed with trial as the prosecutor handling the case was out of jurisdiction.
Chulu applied to have the matter adjourned but Kambwili’s lawyer, Keith Mweemba, said the matter had dragged at the instance of the State.
He wondered what happened to other prosecutors apart from Chipawa that placed themselves on court record.
Mweemba said at the last sitting, magistrate Chanda had urged the State to close its case in an event that it was not ready to proceed, leaving it to the court to pronounce itself on the behaviour by the State.
Magistrate Chanda asked the State whether it was interested in prosecuting the matter or not.
She urged the State to take the matter seriously as it was its case and that it should be ready to prosecute it at the next sitting.
He ordered Chulu to take over the matter if Chipawa would not be available failure to which she will discharge Kambwili of the contempt charge levelled against him.
The matter comes up on March 17, 2020.