The seven court officials linked to the missing cocaine under the custody of the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court have appeared in court with fresh charges.
Last week, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) entered a nolle prosequi in a case in which the court officials and two businessmen were facing three counts of drug trafficking in relation to the disappearance of 24 kilogrammes of cocaine, which drugs are subject of criminal proceedings before another court.
However, upon their release, the accused persons were re-arrested and they are now charged with four counts of trafficking in narcotic drugs and two counts of theft by servant.
All the accused persons; businessmen Eric Chipango, Emmanuel Chimba and court officials Emmanuel Chirwa, Bearvan Mengo, Mathews Mukanda, Victor Nzaila, Florence Mushoka, O’Brian Muyunda and Didie Kangwa, a senior clerk of court, have been charged with one count of trafficking in 80.11 grammes of cocaine without lawful authority and another count of trafficking in 1 Kg of cocaine without lawful authority.
Chimba, a businessman and Chirwa, a court interpreter, are facing another count of trafficking in 1.5 grammes of cocaine without lawful authority.
Chirwa has also been slapped with one more count of trafficking in 4.5 grammes of cocaine without lawful authority and another count of theft by servant where he’s alleged to have stolen 4.5 grammes of cocaine, the property of the Government of Zambia.
All the seven court officials have been charged with one count of theft by servant where they are alleged to have stolen 24 kilogrammes of cocaine between August 4, 2017, and August 9, 2018, the property of the Government of Zambia, which brings the total number of counts on the charge sheet to six.
And when the matter came up before Chief Resident Magistrate Kenneth Mulife, Monday, he allocated the matter to a Siavonga-based Magistrate Victoria Chitulangoma.
The accused are expected to take plea today, Tuesday.