LUSAKA Principal Resident Magistrate David Simusamba has threatened to cite NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili for contempt of court if the alleged threats on the prosecution team by the accused and his supporters are repeated.
The warning came after deputy Chief State Advocate Margarate Chitundu asked for the court’s protection by warning Kambwili and his supporters not threaten them in any way.
However, defence lawyer Keith Mweemba questioned the basis on which the court was being invited to warn Kambwili without giving him an opportunity to be heard or disclosing what the accused had done that he should be warned.
Meanwhile, Kambwili’s wife, Carol, has told the court that the accused would sign cheques for Mwamona Engineering and Technical services Limited when need arose as he was a signatory at the bank and had a power of attorney to sign on their son, Mwamba’s behalf.
This is a matter in which 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.
It is alleged that on October 29, 2013, Kambwili with intent to defraud or deceive, 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 Patents and Companies’ Registration Agency (PACRA).
Previously, Carol, a staff nurse at National Health Service in Leicester city, United Kingdom, told the court that Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services belongs to her and her son Mwamba Chishimba Kambwili, in which they are directors.
Carol, the second defence witness who was testifying via Zoom Video Communications, explained that the company was incorporated in 2001 while the family was still in Chingola, contrary to EEP leader, Chilufya Tayali’s claims that it was incorporated in 2013.
She said her and her son, Mwamba, sent a representative, a Mr James Nyasulo to register Mwamona on their behalf at PACRA in 2001.
The matter came up, Monday, for cross examination of the defence witness by the State.
Asked by the deputy Chief State Advocate how involved Kambwili was in the running of Mwamona, Carol said her husband was the chair of the board and would only sign when she asked him to.
“He is a signatory at the bank so he would sign cheques. He was given permission to sign because me and my son were in England. We would discuss if he wanted to sign anything. He was given a power of attorney to sign on Mwamba’s behalf,” she said.
But after Carol finished her testimony, Chitundu sought the court’s protection.
“We wish to seek the protection of this court as the prosecution if the accused and his supporters would understand that proceedings in this matter are not personal. We are officers of the court and when we are before court we are only executing our duties and it ends there,” she said.
“We are asking for the protection of this court, and with the wisdom and guidance of this court if the accused and his supporters can be warned to not address the prosecutions after these proceedings and not to threaten them in any way.”
But Mweemba questioned the basis on which the court was being invited to warn Kambwili without giving him an opportunity to be heard or disclosing what the accused had done that he should be warned.
“The State is inviting the court to give a warning to the accused, on what basis? The procedure is very clear is the state is aggrieved, let the State follow the right procedure and report the matter to the law enforcement agencies. What the prosecutor has told the court cannot be entertained as it amounts to adducing evidence on the bar. What has the accused done that he should be warned for?” he asked.
Mweemba said it was very unfair that Kambwili was deliberately being brought in the spotlight to make him look like he was a problem.
But in his ruling, Magistrate Simusamba said he had inherent power to protect the interest, dignity, security and rights of not only Kambwili but also all officers of the court such as Chitundu.
“If the State advocate has decided to seek the protection of this court from the harassment by the accused person and his perceived supporters, this court has such powers to do [so] and has no reason to doubt the sincerity of the state advocate when she says that the accused and his perceived supporters are addressing her outside these proceedings,” he said.
Magistrate Simusamba warned Kambwili against such conduct, adding that he would not hesitate to cite him for contempt if he continued behaving in such manner.
“Let me here warn that such conduct especially if committed within the court premises amounts to contempt of this court. The accused is warned to desist from such conduct,” he said.
He gave Kambwili a last adjournment to bring more witnesses and adjourned the matter to July 27, this year.