CHISHIMBA Kambwili has told the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court that he was extremely shocked when he was charged with contempt of court in relation to the alleged lodging of documents at PACRA to alter the details of Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services.
He told the court that he has never been to PACRA in person to lodge any documents relating to Mwamona, adding that the lodging of documents was done by management and that he was just a board chairman.
Meanwhile, the court has set May 24, this year, as date of judgement in the matter.
Kambwili is in this matter charged with contempt of court for allegedly tampering with evidence in relation to Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services Limited at Patents and Companies Registration Agency, which was a subject in an active case before Magistrate David Simusamba.
Kambwili has since been convicted and sentenced to one year imprisonment for forgery and uttering a false document by Magistrate Simusamba in the said matter.
He has however appealed his conviction and sentence to the High Court.
In this matter, it is alleged that Kambwili on March 6, 2018 in Lusaka, caused an obstruction or disturbance in the course of judicial proceedings by lodging documents at PACRA to alter the details and records of Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services which were subject of active judicial proceedings.
It is further alleged that the changes made were particulars of the two directors namely; Mwamba Chishimba and Carol Chansa, of which Mwamba Chishimba was changed to Mwamba Kambwili and Carol Chansa to Carol Chansa Chipande.
He was found with a case to answer in the matter in December, last year by Lusaka Magistrate Nsunge Chanda.
But opening his defence before magistrate Chanda, Tuesday, Kambwili, a politician, told the court that he had actually been shocked from the date he was charged with the said offence.
He said he was a board chairman in Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services and that his responsibilities was to chair board meetings and sign board resolutions as resolved by the board.
“We usually conduct our board meetings quarterly according to the issues that have been identified by management,” Kambwili said.
He said in this particular incidence there was one issue that management wanted the board to deal with.
Kambwili said this was the issue of a wrong NRC appearing on one of Mwamona’s directors, Mwamba Kambwili.
He told the court that the issue was that the company wanted to amend records at PACRA to correct the said anomaly owing to the fact that the company was a going concern and had huge contracts with mining companies.
Kambwili said as a requirement by law when an anomaly was identified or noticed, the company had to rectify it through laid down procedures.
“And a requirement for a change of this nature is that there must be a board resolution. So my job ended at chairing the board meeting. And this your honour, was not done in my individual capacity but for and on behalf of Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services,” he said.
The accused person told the court that the directors of Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services were Mwamba Kambwili and Carol Chansa Kambwili and that they were also shareholders.
Kambwili added that he on the other hand, was just a non executive board chairman.
In terms of details at PACRA, the accused told the court that if one was to do a search at PACRA from March 5, 2018, the directors for Mwamona would reflect as Mwamba Kambwili and Carol Chansa Chipande.
He added that prior to March 5, 2018 the record still showed that the directors from registration to March 5, 2018 were Mwamba Chishimba and Carol Chansa.
Asked regarding the charges against him, Kambwili said he was shocked when he was charged with the said charge because he had never been at PACRA in person to lodge any documents for Mwamona.
He added that the lodging of documents was done by management and that he was just a board chairman.
“I was extremely shocked to be charged with this offence. There is no law that stops a company from making amendments while there is a private matter in court pertaining to either one of its directors or any board member. From my little understanding or from a layman point of view, should there be a case, probably there should be a restraining order issued by the court restraining a company from making amendments or alterations while a matter of such nature is going on in court. On the other hand it’s an offence under the company’s act to keep incorrect records at PACRA and continue conducting business,” Kambwili said.
In cross examination, deputy chief State Advocate Margaret Chitundu asked him when the said changes were made at PACRA but the accused said he didn’t know
However, Chitundu put it to him that according to the document before court, the changes which were made were filed on March 6, 2018.
In response, Kambwili said “if that’s what the document says, then it’s correct”.
Chitundu then asked Kambwili whether he agreed with her that he first appeared before Magistrate Simusamba on March 6, 2018.
But in response, Kambwili said he couldn’t remember the first day he appeared before magistrate Simusamba because it was almost three years.
Further asked whether he agreed with her that the material which was allegedly changed at PACRA affected the charges which he was facing before Magistrate Simusamba, Kambwili responded in the negative.
After cross examination ended, the defence informed the court that it was closing its case.
At this point, the State informed the court that they would file their submissions by April 9, 2021, while the defence said they will file there’s by April 30, 2021.
Magistrate Chanda then set May 24, this year, as date of judgement.