Lusaka lawyer Germano Kaulungombe and two others yesterday asked the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court to allow them to reconcile with the complainants in a matter they are accused of obtaining K600,000 from five people by falsely pretending that they had plots for sale on the Baobab land.

According to Zambia Police, the three are said to have swindled five National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) directors.

However, Lusaka Chief Resident Magistrate Lameck Mwale has recused himself from handling matter and has reallocated it to Lusaka Magistrate Felix Kaoma where the accused persons took fresh plea, denying the charges.

In this matter, Kaulungombe, 55; Stanley Tembo, a 50-year-old legal assistant and Leonard Nyoni, a 37-year-old businessman, are charged with six counts of forcible detainer and obtaining money by false pretences, but had denied the charges before Magistrate Mwale.

In the first count, it is alleged that between July 18 and 23, this year, Kaulungombe, Tembo and Nyoni, whilst acting together had possession of farm number F/4300/B/2 Baobab area, without colour of right and held possession of the land in a manner likely to cause breach of peace or reasonable apprehension of the peace against Joseph Chisaka, a person entitled by law to have possession of the said land.

In count two, the trio on the same dates allegedly obtained K200,000 cash from Ronnie Kamanya by falsely pretending that they had a plot for sale when in fact not.

And in count three, four, five and six, the three allegedly obtained K100,000 cash from Dorothy Soko, Marson Moonga, Phillip Muyumbwana and Utembele Simwinga, respectively, by falsely pretending that they had plots for sale when in fact not.

When the matter came up for commencement of trial, Tuesday, defence lawyer M. Kabesha asked the Court to allow both parties to reconcile.

The defence lawyer made the application under section 8 of the Criminal Procedure Code Cap 88 of the laws of Zambia, which allows parties to reconcile.

Kabesha told the Court that all the charges the accused were facing were not felonies, but misdemeanors and that they were private in nature.

He further explained to the Court that the complainants commenced an action in the High Court where they were asking for a refund to which consent of settle order was made dated August 23, this year.

Kabesha said efforts were made by the accused to pay K600,000 amount owed.

The defence lawyer added that half had been paid.

He said an application was made before court to unblock the account of Kaulungombe, claiming that is where all the exhibits were.

Kabesha said had it not been for the blocking of Kaulungombe’s law firm’s account, the remaining balance would have been paid as the account shows to have over K500,000.

He said for this reason, the Court should allow both parties to reconcile and the case be dismissed.

But the State objected to the application.

Public prosecutor Juvenalis Kamutondole objected to the application, saying they have not received a notice of reconciliation from the complainant, but asked the Court to guide.

However, Magistrate Mwale recused himself from handling the matter following the issues raised in the defence’s application.

He then re-allocated the matter to Magistrate Kaoma where the accused persons took fresh plea and denied the charges.

The matter comes up on December 4, 2019, for mention and December 17 and 18, this year, for commencement of trial.

Zambia Police spokesperson Esther Katongo had stated in a statement that the five directors reported to police that they had been swindled out of various amounts of money by Marshal Chambers, a law firm headed by Kaulungombe, on the pretext that there was land on sale.