Two defense witnesses have denied being aware of a rice business which a Kalingalinga man accused of breaking into High Court judge Sunday Bwalya Nkonde’s house and stealing property worth over K55,000, claimed to have.

This is a case in which Afelo Banda is charged with one count of burglary and theft.

Banda said he was shocked that the two witnesses presented a different story in court.

It is alleged that on July 18 this year in Lusaka, Banda with intent to steal, broke and entered into the dwelling house of Sunday Bwalya Nkonde, and stole from there K20,000 cash, a judiciary HP laptop Note Book by make valued at K8,000, three wrist watches worth US$2,700, two blue De channel perfumes valued at US$200 and a set of Wahl deluxe shaving kit valued at K550, all together valued at K55,594, property of Sunday Bwalya Nkonde.

On January 13, Lusaka Chief resident Magistrate Lameck Mwale found Banda with a case to answer and put him on his defense.

After he was put on his defense, Banda informed the court that he would give sworn evidence and would further call two witnesses.

When the matter came up for his defense, Tuesday, the accused called Mathews Banda of Malata compound in Kabulonga as his witness to prove that he did in fact have a rice business but the witness said he did not hear or know anything about the said business.

He later called Patrick Zulu, a guard of Kalikiliki, who also denied knowing anything about the accused running a rice business.

“I don’t know anything about this case. You didn’t tell me, and I stay in Kalikiliki and am not aware that he sells rice,” said Zulu.

But Chief resident Magistrate Lameck Mwale wondered why the accused brought witnesses who did not have the information he was trying to show the court.

And in response, Banda said he spoke to them before the court session but was surprised that they claimed ignorance of the business and the case itself but said he had two more witnesses who he said are his former customers to prove that he indeed did have a rice business.

But the magistrate further guided that the accused did have the right to bring as many witnesses as possible but wondered how that would help him because the said rice business was being done in 2017 and the theft case happened in 2019.

The matter was since adjourned to March 13 for continued defense.