LUSAKA principal resident magistrate Mwaka Mikalile has declined to adjourn the matter in which Chishimba Kambwili is facing 39 counts of possessing obscene amounts of money suspected to be proceeds of crime and obtaining pecuniary advantage, among other charges.
Magistrate Mikalile said Kambwili had no lawyers to lead him during defence.
In this case Kambwili, his son Mwamba, and Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services Limited are facing charges of possessing more than K6 million, obtaining pecuniary advantage and uttering a false document to a public officer.
Their co-accused Zambia Revenue Authority officials Lukwesa Musonda and Mulenga Kapilima are alleged to have prepared a false document indicating that Mwamona was tax compliant when not.
When the case was called for opening of defence on Friday morning, Kambwili and his co-accused indicated that they would give evidence on oath. Kambwili raised his hand to make an application but magistrate Mikalile told him that he could not make an application on behalf of his lawyers Keith Mweemba and Gilbert Phiri because they were capable of sending representatives from their law firms to make applications on their behalf.
Lawyer representing the two ZRA officials Andrew Kombe told the court that he received a call from Phiri who informed him that he was unable to attend court as he and Mweemba were resolving in-house issues.
And magistrate Mikalile responded “I will not adjourn the matter on flimsy grounds. I made it clear at the last sitting that I don’t have time.”
Kambwili, who pleaded with the court to allow him speak, said he had issues to resolve with his lawyers.
He further pleaded that the court granted him a last adjournment, saying he was equally tired of going to court for five years.
He asked the court to start with the ZRA officials who were represented.
But still magistrate Mikalile refused to grant Kambwili’s proposal of starting with ZRA officials, saying rules of practice and procedure required the first accused person to open defence.
“If you have in-house issues, what does that have to do with me? Prepare yourself for defense otherwise I will not adjourn the matter,” ordered magistrate Mikalile.
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