KONKOLA Copper Mines provisional liquidator Milingo Lungu has complained before the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court that it is unfair for the state to drag him to court on charges of theft, obtaining money by false pretences and money laundering when it’s not ready.
Lungu, through his lawyer Sakwiba Sikota, charged that the state was caught napping despite summoning him to avail himself before court yesterday.
The case was mentioned before chief resident magistrate Dominic Makalichi.
Sikota told the court that state prosecutor Lewis Kandele was being discourteous to the court by appearing before it without mentioning the matter.
Earlier before the case was mentioned, Kandele convened a brief meeting with Sikota and Lungu’s other lawyers Makebi Zulu and Moses Chitambala to inform them that their client would not take plea as the case record has not been fully prepared.
Kandele’s colleague Stuyvesant Malambo quickly chipped in and explained that the former was before court to inform him that Lungu’s case was not ready and that the state would communicate the next date on which he should avail himself.
“Your honour, the case is not ready. My colleague came to give me an update and I asked him to see State Counsel,” said Malambo.
However, Sikota contended that “it is unfortunate that the state is not ready. Our client has played his part to appear as the state ordered him. It is not right for them to say they are not proceeding.”
Magistrate Makalichi said he was not aware about the case as he was not served the indictment for allocation.
Sikota said he would give the state a benefit of doubt.
“It appears they don’t know what to do. We will keep on to follow them up since they are the ones who know what to do,” charged Sikota.
In September this year, the Drug Enforcement Commission arrested and charged Lungu for obtaining money by false pretences and money laundering.
DEC public relations officer Mathias Kamanga said Lungu and others on dates unknown but between May 22, 2019 and August 15, 2021, allegedly stole K110.4 million and US $250,000.
Lungu is also alleged to have obtained $2,200,000 by false pretences and laundered the same.
The money is said to have come into his possession by virtue of being the provisional liquidator for KCM (in liquidation).
Lungu, who is known for his pomposity, seemed to be humbled as he was crest fallen during his court appearance.