Lusaka Magistrate Nsunge Chanda yesterday stopped Chishimba Kambwili’s defence lawyer Gilbert Phiri in the contempt of court case from cross examining a State witness on the basis that they were not present when the witness, EPP leader Chilufya Tayali gave his evidence-in-chief.
And magistrate Nsunge says Kambwili will have to defend himself at the next sitting on October 16 if his lawyers don’t show up.
This was after all his lawyers excused themselves saying at the next hearing, they would have other matters in the High Court and would not be available.
The defence lawyers said when the adjournment to October 16 was set by the other defence lawyer Christopher Mundia they were not present, hence they had not consented to it.
Meanwhile, Tayali says the fact that Kambwili chaired the meeting to change the directors of Mwamoma, confirms that he caused the alteration of the documents at PACRA even though he did not physically log them in.
This is the matter in which Tayali, 44, alleged that Kambwili tampered with evidence in a case in which the latter is facing three counts of forgery, uttering false documents and giving false information to a public officer.
Particulars of the offence are that Kambwili on March 6, 2018 in Lusaka, did cause an obstruction or disturbance in the course of judicial proceedings by lodging documents at PACRA to alter the details and records of Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services which were subject of active judicial proceedings.
It is alleged that the changes made were particulars of the two directors namely; Mwamba Chishimba and Carol Chansa, of which Mwamba Chishimba was changed to Mwamba Kambwili and Carol Chansa to Carol Chansa Chipande.
And when the matter came up for continuation cross examination before Magistrate Nsunge Chanda, Thursday, the court ordered that only defence lawyer Keith Mweemba should cross examine Tayali because the other counsel, Gilbert Phiri was not present when the witness gave his evidence in chief.
She added it would be a bad tendency if a lawyer who was not present in court at the last sitting, only came on another day for cross examination.
And in cross examination, Tayali admitted that at no point did Kambwili present uttered documents before honourable David Simusamba’s court.
And in re-examination by the State, Tayali said when he had earlier told the court that it was Kambwili who uttered documents at PACRA, he was referring to the board resolutions signed by Kambwili as chairman of the meeting that sat to utter records at PACRA.
He added that the fact that Kambwili had chaired that meeting confirmed that he caused the alteration of the documents even though he did not physically file them at PACRA.
“By the fact that he chaired the meeting that resolved. I confirmed that he chaired because the board resolutions were filed with other documents at PACRA which counsel brought out when I was being cross examined,” he said.
And when the court said the matter would come up on October 16 for continuation of trial as earlier set, the defence lawyers said they would not be available on that date because they had another case in the High Court on the same day.
However, magistrate Chanda reminded them that the date did not set itself because they had their representative, Christopher Mundia who had suggested the date.
She added that Kambwili would defend himself on that day if his lawyers failed to come.
“You will defend yourself if your lawyers don’t come because the law is very straight forward. This date did not set itself,” she said.
Kambwili then complained that he would not be comfortable to proceed without his lead lawyers.
“Where does that live me your worship because these are my lead counsels and I will not be comfortable to proceed when they are not there,” he said.
Magistrate Chanda however maintained that the matter would still come up on that same date because she had a lot of cases.
“It’s about the dates this is not the only matter, there are a lot of matters. So we are going to make progress with Mr Mundia the one who set the date. So even if the lead prosecutor won’t be there that’s not my problem if she won’t be there who ever is going to be there has to prosecute. So the matter will come up on the 16th,” said magistrate Chanda.