The Lusaka Magistrates’ Court has found NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili with a case to answer in a matter he is charged with forgery and giving false information to a public officer in relation to the registration of Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services.
Principle Resident Magistrate David Simusamba noted that the prosecution had established a prima facie case on all three counts against Kambwili, and consequently placed him on his defence which he is set to open on December 4.
In this matter, Kambwili is facing three counts of forgery, uttering and giving false information to a public officer.
It is alleged that on October 29, 2013, with intent to defraud or deceive, Kambwili forged a “no change return” (companies form 71) purporting to show that it was genuinely signed by his son Mwamba when in fact not.
It is further alleged that on the same date, Kambwili knowingly and fraudulently uttered the same document to an officer at PACRA.
The State had closed its case last month.
When the matter came up for a ruling on whether or not the accused had a case to answer, Thursday, magistrate Simusamba said at this stage, he was not concerned on whether the prosecution had proved the case beyond all reasonable doubt but on whether the prosecution had produced enough evidence to warrant the placing of Kambwili on his defence.
“At this stage of the proceedings, I’m not concerned with the question whether or not the prosecution has proved its case beyond all reasonable doubt. My consideration is whether the prosecution has adduced sufficient evidence to warrant the placing of the accused on his defence such that if he elected to remain silent, I may convict according to that evidence,” he said.
“I have come to the firm conclusion that the prosecution has established prima facie cases on each and every count charged on the accused person and I accordingly place him on his defence on all three counts.”
At this point, the defence informed the court that Kambwili will call witnesses to that effect and that they would proceed to agree on the date to commence his defence.
However, magistrate Simusamba imposed December 4, this year, for commencement of defence.
This was after Kambwili’s lawyers indicated to the court that they would only be available in the third or last week of January next year as they would be going on industrial break.
But magistrate Simusamba insisted that that they find a date for December.
However, when the defence informed magistrate Simusamba that it was impossible for the accussed to commence his defence on the earliest dates possible as he was appearing in five other courts for other offences, magistrate Simusamba imposed December 5 as the date for defence.
This move was however not received well by the defence counsels.
Previously, detective chief inspector Stanley Mumbula, the arresting officer, testified that he charged and arrested Kambwili with forgery after discovering that some documents relating to Mwamona Engineering Technical Services purported to have been signed by his son Mwamba, had the accused’s signatures.
He testified that on October 28, 2017, he received a complaint from Economic and Equity party president Chilufya Tayali that there was a company named Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services which was not properly registered.
He said Tayali further alleged that Kambwili was signing some documents as director for Mwamona, when in fact not.
The witness said acting on the information, he instituted his investigations in the matter.
Mumbula said during his investigations, he visited PACRA and requested for files for Mwamona, adding that after going through the files, he discovered that there were two directors of Mwamona namely, Carol Chansa and Mwamba Chishimba.
He said when he further went through the files, he noticed that documents like a ‘no change return’ where purported to have been signed by Mwamba, when they were in fact signed by Kambwili.
Mambula said further investigations revealed that the NRC used by Mwamba during the registration of Mwamona, belonged to Sampa, who was Kambwili’s sister.
He said when he subjected all the documents relating to Mwamona to handwriting experts, it was discovered that all the writings purported to have been signed by Mwamba where actually signed by Kambwili.