Seven Lusaka Magistrates’ Court officials and two businessmen, who were accused of trafficking in 80.11 grams of cocaine, have been slapped with another charge of trafficking in 1 kilogram of the same drug without lawful authority.
And magistrate Kawama Mwamfuli has dismissed the defence’s application to have the accused persons undergo medical examination after allegedly being tortured while in custody saying it was premature to raise such an issue when trial had not started.
Meanwhile, the magistrate has also thrown out the defence’s application to exclude Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) witnesses from testifying in the matter saying there’s no law which stops DEC from testifying despite being interested parties.
In this matter, the businessmen, Eric Chipango, Emmanuel Chimba and Charles Nkhuwa were jointly charged with court officials; Emmanuel Chirwa, Bearvan Mengo, Mathews Mukanda, Victor Nzaila, Florence Mushoka, O’Brian Muyunda and Didie Kangwa, a senior clerk of court, for trafficking in 80.11 grams of cocaine without lawful authority.
However, businessman Charles Nkuwa has been set free.
When the matter came up before a Kafue based magistrate sitting in Lusaka, Kawama Mwamfuli, Wednesday, the magistrate dismissed the defence’s application to have the accused persons undergo medical examination after allegedly being tortured whilst in custody saying it was premature to raise such an issue when trial had not started.
Magistrate Mwamfuli further dismissed the defence’s application to exclude DEC witnesses from testifying in the matter saying there was no law which stopped DEC from testifying despite being interested parties.
The State then substituted the initial charge sheet and replaced it with another one with with extra charges, slapping all the accused persons with another charge of trafficking in 1 kilogram of cocaine without lawful authority.
Businessman Chimba and a court interpreter Emmanuel Chirwa have further been charged with another count of trafficking in 1.5 grams of cocaine, which offenses were committed between November 1, 2017 and September 14, 2018.
Meanwhile, a 45 year old senior Security Officer from DEC Collins Hamainda has narrated in court, how the two businessmen in the matter were cornered for drug trafficking.
Hamainda explained how Chipango who was dealing in suspected drugs at Gold Crest Mall, was apprehended when a prepacked whitish powder was discovered after a search from his motor vehicle.
He said Chipango however told the officers that the drugs belonged to Chimba.
Hamainda further said after Chimba was apprehended, some drugs were found in his vehicle which were supplied by Chirwa, a court interpreter at Magistrates’ Court.
“Later Chimba led the officers to the court interpreters house in George compound and after a search was conducted, officers discovered an exhibit bag which contained an analysis form and a pistol with six rounds of ammunition,” said Hamainda.