THE Lusaka Magistrates’ Court has reserved a ruling to May 24, 2022, in a case in which former presidential press aide Amos Chanda wants the court to summon acting Anti-Corruption Commission director general Silumesi Muchula to testify.
Lusaka Chief Resident Magistrate Dominic Makalicha reserved ruling after the parties in the matter made their submissions.
This is a matter in which Chanda, his wife Mable and sister-in-law Ruth Mulenga are charged with three counts of using insulting language and obstructing Anti-Corruption Commission officers.
The accused are alleged to have insulted and obstructed the officers when they went to conduct searches at Chanda’s premises in October 2021.
When the matter came up for continued defence, Monday, lawyers representing the accused persons, Timmy Munalula and Joseph Chirwa informed the court that Muchula was summoned to be before court to testify in the matter but he was not present.
The defence said the summon was served on Muchula and that he was the one they had lined up as the defence to be on stand.
But in response, the State said they had received a copy of the summons on May 4, 2022, which was addressed to Muchula.
State prosecutor Daniel Ngwira argued that the witness the defence was trying to summon to appear before court enjoyed immunity of staff or public interest immunity.
He wondered whether the defence was trying to dramatize the court process to appease certain sectors.
“Now that you have known that this was done by the defence, what we are saying is [that] this should have been done at their own instance. It is strange, Your Honour. Further, if at all the people requesting to serve these summons have an issue with this person who must be their witness, the court should have done a pretrial. As a matter of law, this witness they are trying to summon before this court enjoys immunity of staff or public interest immunity,” the state said.
But Munalula and Chirwa insisted that the accused persons had the right to summon Muchula to testify in the matter.
During the court session, Chirwa and Ngwira kept arguing amongst themselves, prompting the magistrate to warn them against such conduct.
The matter comes up on May 24, 2022 for a ruling.