DISMISSED Judge Joshua Banda of the High Court appeared in court Wednesday on charges of allegedly corruptly asking a sheriff for K130,000 in order to influence his decision in a tribunal case.
In a different court, Mongu High Court Judge Wilfred Muma is charged with voiding an army-owned land title and giving it to the Patriotic Front.
Judge Banda was charged with two counts of corrupt dealings when he appeared before Lusaka magistrate Idah Phiri.
According to the first count, he corruptly requested K130,000 from David Mwanza, the undersheriff for the court, between July 1 and July 31, 2020.
The money allegedly used as an inducement to help Mr. Mwanza obtain a favorable ruling in a tribunal involving the collection of K8,000,000 from a private organization, Mopani Copper Mines.
In the second count, it is alleged that Banda accepted K63,000 from Mr. Mwanza between the same dates in exchange for helping him (Mr. Mwanza) win a favorable ruling in a tribunal involving the collection of K8,000,000 from Mopani.
However, a defense attorney filed preliminary defense claims that the allegations were numerous and would humiliate his client when the case was called.
The charges, according to the attorney, are redundant because they stem from the same offense and include the same specifics.
The State wants the accused to be appearing before the High Court since he is a sitting judge who is anticipated to continue discharging his functions even when he is appearing in the subordinate court, which he has supervisory jurisdiction over. The matter will resume on May 30 this year.
In order to prevent embarrassment and prejudice against the accused, he pleaded with the court to throw out any one of the counts.
The prosecution disagreed, arguing that the counts are clearly stated and represent two distinct offenses.
The State argued that splitting these counts up will make it simpler for the accused to plan his defense and prevent any injustice on his behalf.
On May 4, Magistrate Phiri will issue her decision.
The State has meantime urged the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court to refer the judge Muma case to the High Court.