Chrint Sichamba, the owner of Ndozo Lodge, his wife Eudora, son David, and two representatives of two firms entered a not-guilty plea to more than one hundred corruption-related charges Wednesday.
Nevertheless, as soon as the defendants entered a plea, their attorneys lodged a preliminary objection questioning whether they could be tried by prosecutors for the Anti-Corruption Commission who are not chosen by the director of public prosecutions.
In this instance, Sichamba, who requires assistance to walk, and four other defendants are charged with 133 counts of possessing property thought to be the proceeds of crime.
The two businesses, Mulozi Trade and Ndozo Lodge, which are jointly accused of working with Sichamba, his son, and his wife, are each being defended by an accountant and a manager.
Around US$10 million and over K781 million are at stake in the 133 claims made against the accused.
Furthermore, it is claimed that the defendants were in possession of 140 properties thought to be stolen property.
As soon as the defendants entered a plea yesterday, their attorneys brought up a second preliminary problem challenging the legitimacy of their prosecution by ACC prosecutors, whom they regarded to be foreigners.
The defense attorneys, including Willis Muhanga, asserted that the ACC prosecutors were “aliens” in the case because they were not chosen by the DPP to prosecute the crime.
They requested guidance from the court regarding the suitability of the ACC prosecutors to bring the case.
Today’s court date is set for a decision.
The accountant and lodge manager who represented the two charged corporations, according to the defense, were inept, they said before entering a plea.
The defense contended that this was the case because neither of the two individuals was a director of the corporations they were acting as.
But, the application was turned down for being unworthy.