KONKOLA Copper Mines (KCM) provisional liquidator Milingo Lungu has failed to take plea in a matter where he is charged with theft of K4.4 million and money laundering.

The matter, which was allocated to Magistrate Felix Kaoma, could not take off on Wednesday morning as the magistrate will only sit next week.

The case is scheduled to come up for plea on Tuesday, October 26.

Lungu, 43, of Mulungushi Road in Roma is in the first count charged with theft.

It is alleged that Lungu between May 22, 2019 and September 28, 2021 being a provisional liquidator stole K4.4 million, the property of Konkola Copper Mines PlC.

In the second count, it is alleged that Lungu during the same period transferred K4.4 million, knowing or having reasons to believe the same to be proceeds of crime.

And speaking to journalists after the court appearance, one of Milingo’s lawyers Sakwiba Sikota said his client was ready to take plea but it was unfortunate that the magistrate was not sitting.

He however said he was happy that the state had finally taken the matter to court so that his client’s name could be cleared as quickly as possible.

“He is ready to take plea and the case was supposed to take off but unfortunately the magistrate [was not sitting] because there is rotation of magistrates because of the COVID issue. So the magistrate whom it (the case) has been allocated [to] will only be sitting next week. That will be on Tuesday that the plea will be taken. Naturally, we are happy because there is a need for us to have our client’s name cleared as quickly as possible because this matter is not only affecting him, it’s affecting his employees, it’s affecting other people, clients and so forth. So it’s important that we quickly have this matter resolved one way or the other,” said Sikota.