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Magistrate warns Kambwili over absenting himself from court

THE Lusaka Magistrates’ Court has cautioned PF member Chishimba Kambwili against absconding court at the next sitting failure to which his freedom will be curtailed.

Kambwili, who was expected to open defence in a matter where he is facing a charge of defamation of the president for calling President Edgar Lungu a ‘dog’, skipped court without justification.

The PF member has been holding rallies in his hometown, Luanshya on the Copperbelt, despite the Electoral Commission of Zambia imposing a ban on the same due to COVID-19.

When the case was called, Kambwili and his sureties were not before court.

His defense lawyers Gilbert Phiri and Keith Mweemba were equally not present as Kambwili had been failing to pay for legal services in the past two years despite the latter bragging that he was not broke.

State advocate Charity Bauleni asked justice Lameck Mwale, who is presiding over the matter, to issue a warrant of arrest against Kambwili because the latter was aware of the court session and so were his sureties and lawyers.

Bauleni said no reason was advanced for the accused’s absence and that of his sureties.

Kambwili, who has been finding it difficult to attend court after he went back to the PF, failed to open his defense on June 16 as he was not before court on the premise that he was unwell.

In his ruling, judge Mwale gave Kambwili a benefit of the doubt but warned that he would take necessary action if he does not avail himself before court at the next hearing.

“It is unfortunate that the accused and the defence are not before court. The record will show that they are aware of today’s date but they deliberately chose to stay away. This must not be allowed and this is the last time such should be happening otherwise I shall be compelled to take appropriate action if the accused does not appear at the next sitting. Whatever the reasons, I shall give them a benefit of doubt,” said judge Mwale.

The matter comes up on August 18..

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