CORRUPTION-charged Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya yesterday failed to take plea in a case where he is alleged to be in possession of properties suspected to be proceeds of crime, due to confusion caused by a horde of PF cadres.
Chief Resident Magistrate Lameck Mwale adjourned the matter to July 16 after the PF cadres attempted to force their way into the courtroom where the proceedings were to take place.
After his case was called when the matter came up before magistrate Mwale around 09:00 hours, Thursday, Dr Chilufya went into the accused dock.
However, before any progress was made on the case, there was commotion as PF cadres tried to force themselves into the courtroom, defying the COVID-19 guidelines which allow only a few people at a time in the courtroom.
The cadres managed to overpower judiciary security officers and a few police officers who were trying to enforce order.
This made it difficult for magistrate Mwale to continue with the matter, prompting him to invite the State prosecutors and the defence team to meet him in chambers where the matter was adjourned to July 16, this year for possible plea, to allow for tightening up of security.
After the case was adjourned, some cadres started chanting slogans as Dr Chilufya, his lawyers and sympathisers walked out of the courtroom.
Dr Chitalu was accompanied by his wife, Dr Mutinta Mudenda, members of parliament and other senior PF officials.
Outside the courtroom, Dr Chilufya pointed at a banner endorsing President Lungu’s 2021 candidature and nodded in agreement.
Some traditional leaders were also at court to give solidarity to the minister.
Dr Chilufya has been charged with four charges of possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime contrary to section 71(1) of the forfeiture of proceeds of Crime Act no. 19 of the 2010 of the Laws of Zambia.
In the first count, it is alleged that Dr Chilufya on a date unknown but between December 1, 2016 and December 31, 2017 in Lusaka possessed US$200,000 which was used to purchase 6,000 shares in Samfya Marines and Tourism Services Limited from Den Daas Investment Zambia Limited, property suspected to be proceeds of crime.
In the second count, it is alleged that Dr Chilufya on a date unknown but between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017 in Lusaka possessed K270,000 cash which was used to purchase 2,000 shares in Samfya Marines and and Tourism Services Limited from Leo Jonas Ngosa Investment Limited, property suspected of being proceeds of crime.
In the third count, it is alleged that Dr Chilufya on an unknown date but between January 1, 2018 and December 30, 2019 possessed K3,000,000 which was used to purchase Lot No. 365/366 also known as Spark Guest House situated in Mansa district of Luapula Property, property reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.
In the last count, it is alleged that Dr Chilufya on a date unknown but between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017 in Lusaka possessed US$52,000 which was used to purchase a passenger boat also known as Transport 32 from Smart Own FZE of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, property reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.