THREE more people have been added to a case in which five former employees of Chishimba Kambwili and a student are accused of stealing US $160,000 belonging to the NDC leader.
The accused persons, who are now nine in total, have, however, denied stealing the said money before the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court.
The nine include five former domestic workers of Kambwili, a student, a police officer, a soldier and a retired police officer.
Kambwili’s five former workers; Rodney Muntanga, a 47-year-old house boy; Esther Munyeka, a 29-year-old maid; George Bwalya, a driver aged 49; Millan Chembe, a 35-year-old security guard and Charles Kamutengo, a 54-year-old gardener are charged with theft by servant.
On the other hand, Stacey Jane Jones, a 23-year-old student who is also a friend to Kambwili’s daughter Chanda; David Zimba, a 52-year-old retired police officer; Ian Kalunga, 38, a police officer and Jacob Sinadambwe, a 32-year-old soldier, are also charged with theft.
In count one (theft charge), it is alleged that Stacey, Zimba, Kalunga and Sinadabwe between December 14, 2020, and December 27, 2020, in Lusaka, jointly and whilst acting together with others stole US $160,000 cash, the property of Kambwili.
In count two (theft by servant), it is alleged that Muntanga, Munyeka, Bwalya, Chembe and Kamutengo between December 14, 2020, and December 27, 2020, in Lusaka, jointly and whilst acting together with others, being persons employed by Kambwili stole US $160,000 cash, the property of the said employer.
When the matter came up for plea before Magistrate Nthandose Chabala, Monday morning, State Prosecutor Samuel Zulu applied to substitute the indictment to include three more accused persons (Zimba, Kalunga and Sinadabwe).
Magistrate Chabala granted the application as the accused persons did not object to the application.
After the indictment was substituted, Magistrate Chabala read out the charges to the accused persons after which they all took pleas of not guilty.
After the Court recorded pleas of not guilty in respect of all the nine accused persons; Mutanga, Munyeka, Kamutengo and Zimba applied for bail, pending trial.
In response, the State said they had no objection to the application for bail provided that the accused persons meet the conditions.
And in her ruling, Magistrate Chabala granted the four accused persons cash bail of K5,000 each with two sureties working from reputable organisations within Lusaka.
She further ordered that the sureties would be bound in the sum of K30,000, but in their own recognisance.
Magistrate Chabala then adjourned the matter to March 1 for mention and March 15, 2021, for commencement of trial.
Meanwhile, Kambwili failed to open his defence in a case where he is accused of defaming President Edgar Lungu as he was reportedly unwell.
The matter has since been adjourned to Wednesday, February 17, 2021, for commencement of defence.
In this matter Kambwili, the former Roan PF member of parliament, is accused of defaming President Lungu in relation to his statement where he questioned the Head of State’s association with businessman Harry Valden Findlay.
He was charged with defamation of the President following a complaint filed in the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court by the New Congress party leader president Peter Chanda.
It is alleged that between September 1 and 12, last year in Lusaka, Kambwili with intent to bring the name of the President into hatred, ridicule and contempt published defamatory matter affecting President Edgar Lungu by word of mouth to which he said:
“What business do you do with Valden Findlay? Because we see, when you go abroad, when coming out of the plane, the next person to come out is Valden Findlay. Now, the allegations by the people of Zambia and world over are that maybe the Presidential trips and the Presidential plane is now being used to courier drugs…”
The matter is being privately prosecuted.
On November 16, 2020, Lusaka Magistrate Felix Kaoma found Kambwili with a case to answer in the matter and placed him on his defence.
This was after the prosecution team closed its case.
Magistrate Kaoma then adjourned the matter to February 15 and 17, 2021, for a defence.
However, when the case came up yesterday for defence, Kambwili was not present.
One of the lawyers prosecuting the case, Jonas Zimba, informed the Court that the defence wished to address the court.
“The accused person is not before court today. The matter was scheduled for opening of defence. Defence counsel are before court. And the State is ready to proceed, but before that, the defence counsel wishes to address the court,” Zimba said.
At this point, one of the defence lawyers, Gilbert Phiri informed the Court that they had received information that the accused person was indisposed.
He added that Kambwili had also sent someone to deliver a message regarding his medical condition.
At this point, Kambwili’s representative, Fabian Mutale, 41, was called to the stand.
Mutale, who is Kambwili’s private secretary, informed the Court that the accused was in Luanshya as he was unwell.
“At the time I was leaving the Copperbelt yesterday (Sunday), he had just left the hospital. Unfortunately, we could not be issued with a medical sick note because there was only the clinical officer on duty. He was advised to go back this (Monday) morning when doctors are present. The more reason I could not present a sick note before this court,” explained Mutale.
Magistrate Kaoma then gave Kambwili the benefit of doubt and adjourned the matter to February 17, 2021, for defence.