THE complaint against the registration and directors of Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services is malicious and politically motivated, NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili has told the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court.
Kambwili, who denied forging a “no change return” (companies form 71), also told the court that Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services was registered by his wife in 2001, before he was either a member of parliament or minister, contrary to EEP leader Chilufya Tayali’s claims that it was registered in 2013.
And Principal Resident Magistrate David Simusamba has censured Tayali, who is the complainant in the matter, against posting opinions relating to the ongoing proceedings on social media but to report on facts as they turn out in court.
Meanwhile, Kambwili has re-engaged his former lawyers in the case, Keith Mweemba, Gilbert Phiri and Christopher Mundia to continue acting for him.
The three defence lawyers will be representing the accused alongside former Attorney General Musa Mwenye State Counsel.
In this matter, Kambwili is charged with three counts of forgery, uttering a false document and giving false information to a public officer in relation to the registration of Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services.
On November 28, last year, magistrate Simusamba found Kambwili with a case to answer in the matter and consequently placed him on his defence.
But in February this year, Kambwili’s defence lawyers Mweemba, Phiri and Mundia excused themselves from representing the accused in the matter.
Kamwbili consequently retained Mwenye as his lawyer in the case.
The accused who had not commenced defence yet, was only able to do so yesterday when the matter came up before magistrate Simusamba.
Opening his defence, Kambwili, 51, told the court that Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services was incorporated by his wife Carol Chansa in 2001, adding that the complaint against its registration and directors was malicious and politically motivated.
“This is in view of the fact that prior to Mr Tayali reporting this matter to the police, he held a press briefing where he made allegations and I quote ‘honourable Chishimba Kambwili had registered a company with a fictitious name with a view that he can be getting company contracts as a minister without being depicted that he was involved in that company’. During that briefing he stated that the company was registered in 2013 when I was Minister of Youth and Sport in government. To the contrary Mwamona was registered in August 2001, way before I was either an MP or a minister in government,” he said.
Kambwili said the Genesis of the registration of Mwamona was that his wife, his sister Daisy Kambwili and himself were running a company called “CK Scrap Metal Merchants and General Contractors Limited”.
He said he was also running a company called CK Technical Services Limited whose directors were himself, his wife and another.
Kambwili said when he got involved in politics, the two businesses started having problems due to political interference by the then MMD government.
“There were instructions given to mining companies who were principal customers not to deal with any companies where Chishimba Kambwili was a director,” he said.
He said consequently, his wife decided that she needed to register a company with their son, Mwamba Chishimba Kambwili, and his younger sister Sampa Kambwili.
Kambwili also produced Mwamba’s birth record, which he tendered in as part of his evidence.
He said the only directors in Mwamona were his son and wife as they later on decided not to include his sister.
And Kambwili said the signature he was alleged to have forged in the first charge belonged to him.
He said he had never forged a document in his life and that he was a law abiding citizen.
“This charge is laughable. This is my signature and I signed it. How do I forge my own signature? I had the power of Attorney from my son to sign on his behalf. I have never forged any document in my life. I am a law abiding citizen,” Kambwili said.
Meanwhile, magistrate Simusamba censured the complainant, Tayali, against posting opinions relating to the ongoing proceedings on social media but to report on facts as they turn out in court.
This was after Tayali posted on his Facebook page a post stating “Production of forged documents in court is a very serious offence, must I complain on this one too? #Birthcertificate”.
He said he had been unable to access any of the exhibits that were produced or the transcript of the proceedings and that at every point when he sent people to court to access the proceedings, he had been told that the file was inaccessible.
“These colleagues are here at my advise and on my insistance. Because that was the only way we could proceed to a certain point today without access to the court record as they have the institutional memory of this case to a certain point. So I adviced the accused person to re-engange them and infact insisted with them that it was their professional duty to come and help me with the defence. If there is anyone to apologise here it’s not them, it is me,” Mwenye said.
Defence continues on June 18, this year.