There was massive jubilation at the Mansa Magistrates’ Court on Thursday morning after the State entered a nolle prosequi in a matter where Chipili Independent member of parliament Jewis Chabi was charged with malicious damage of a PF chitenge material and a plank worth K250.
The State discontinued the matter against Chabi after the main complainant and key State witness, decided to withdraw the case.
At the last sitting, Kennedy Kombe, an employee of the National Road Fund Agency who is former PF branch chairperson for Mansa, told the Court that he didn’t want anything to do with the matter, adding that the case should have been closed after he reconciled with the accused.
Kombe said he didn’t understand why the case “which should have been closed was still being pursued” even after he had forgiven the alleged offender.
It was alleged in this matter that, on December 17, 2017 around 16:00 hours, Chabi damaged property namely; a PF chitenge material and a plank valued at K250 at Mansa Town Centre without any legal authority.
The matter died soon after Chabi’s arrest that year, but when it was resurrected last December, the lawmaker pleaded not guilty.
The matter however took an awkward turn after Kombe was called as a witness, but told the court that he did not want anything to do with the case as he had forgiven Chabi.
“I do not know why the case which was supposed to be closed is being pursued,” Kombe said, putting the prosecutor, a Mr Kapepa in a precarious position.
Kapepa tried to press on with examining the witness, but State Counsel Musa Mwenye who was representing Chabi, objected to the line of questions which he said amounted to the prosecutor cross examining his own witness.
Magistrate Mulenga upheld the defence’s objection on the ground that the prosecutor could not cross examine his own witness.
The matter was then stood down for an hour, and after it was resumed Kapepa asked for an adjournment in order for him to consult the Director of Public Prosecutions on how to proceed, but Mwenye objected to the application.
In his ruling Magistrate Mulenga agreed that the complainant had withdrawn the complaint and that the DPP had no role to play.
The court, however, ruled that in the interest of justice, the matter would be adjourned to March 28, 2019 for the State to decide on how to proceed.
However, when the matter came up on Thursday morning, the State discontinued the case by entering a Nolle Prosequi.