LUSAKA Lawyer Makebi Zulu says his client, Mutemwa Mutemwa SC, found the allegations that he was on the run after stealing US$800,000 demeaning.
And Police spokesperson Rae Hamoonga says Mutemwa SC has been arrested and charged with theft while Detective Chief Inspector Mano Kayombo has been charged with theft by public servant.
In an interview, Zulu said his client was a senior lawyer of good standing and couldn’t avoid the police.
Yesterday, Meanwhile, Makebi Zulu Advocates wrote to Inspector General of Police Lemmy Kajoba refuting allegations that Mutemwa SC and a senior police officer are on the run after stealing $800,000.
Zulu also refuted allegations that Mutemwa’s son admitted that his father took $400,000.
In a letter dated October 26, 2021, addressed to the Police IG, Zulu said his clients were not on the run.
“We have been retained and thus act for the herein named Mr Mutemwa SC and others in this matter, kindly note our interest. Whereas it has been widely circulated that our clients are on the run, the same is denied and ours advises that they will attend, in the presence of counsel, at Lusaka Central Police, tomorrow the 27th October, 2021 at 08:30 hours. Kindly advise if the said time is convenient. Further that our clients deny the report that there was a statement made by Mr Mutemwa admitting that USD400,000 was taken from anyone,” the letter read.
When contacted, Hamoonga said he had not seen the letter yet.
“Who have they referred that letter to? I have not seen the letter. Maybe when I see the letter that is when I can comment,” said Hamoonga.
And in a follow up interview on the status of his clients, Zulu said they were ready to avail themselves to the police because the allegations were demeaning.
“They (police) have not given us any response, but I am sure they will give us a response by the end of the day (Tuesday). If they don’t, we will still go there tomorrow (Wednesday), then they can give us further directions. We will go there in the morning. Our clients are not on the run, they have never been on the run. There has been no notice that has been issued to our clients, no call out has ever been issued to them. The next we hear is their police spokesperson saying that they are on the run, it doesn’t happen that way. Mr Mutemwa is a very senior counsel, State Counsel for that matter of good standing. You wouldn’t expect a lawyer of such standing to avoid the police. Our clients found it very demeaning to say that they are on the run and it is for that reason that we were instructed to contact the police. They are available if they are needed and since they said they are on the run, it is clear they are needed and they will make themselves available,” he said.
When asked whether Mutemwa and the police officer indeed stole the US$800,000, Zulu said his clients were incapable of stealing such kind of money.
“We will wait to hear from the police. We would not want to start responding to social media issues. That is the reason we are going there so that they tell us what it is they want from our clients. And if at all there is need for an explanation, we will cooperate with them. Who knows, maybe the police want them for something else. But the instructions were not in any way related to any money that is supposedly missing. Our clients are incapable of stealing such kind of money. We will hear what the police will say. But I am very sure they would not be accusing SC Mutemwa of stealing money, I am very sure about that. If at all they do, then there must be an error of judgment or misunderstanding somewhere. We don’t know what the accusations are, we will hear what they tell us,” said Zulu.
However, around 18:00 hours, Hamoonga issued a statement, announcing that Mutemwa had been arrested and would appear in court soon.
“Police have formerly charged and arrested Mutemwa Mutemwa State Counsel for the offence of Theft while Detective Chief Inspector Mano Kayombo for the offence of Theft by Public Servant.
The duo have been detained in police custody and will appear in court soon. This in connection to the theft of Eight Hundred thousand United Dollars belonging to Lloyd Chinjenge of house number 2415 Ibex Hill Lusaka. This occurred on 19th October,2021 at Chinjenge’s other residence in Salama Park,” stated Hamoonga.
On Monday, Hamoonga said Mutemwa and detective inspector Mano Kayombo of Lusaka Central Police Station were on the run after stealing US$ 800,000 which was entrusted to them during a search at his client’s house.
In a statement, Hamoonga stated that Mutemwa junior disclosed under warn and caution that Mutemwa SC and Kayombo only got US$400,000 and not $800,000.
“Police in Lusaka are investigating a matter in which $800,000 is alleged to have been stolen by Mutemwa Mutemwa State Counsel, Mutemwa Mutemwa Junior both of Mutemwa Legal Practitioners and Detective Chief Inspector Mano Kayombo of Lusaka Central Police Station. The money is a property of Lloyd Chinjenge of House number 2415 Ibex Hill Lusaka. This occurred on 19th October 2021 in Salama Park area, Lusaka. Brief facts of the case are that on 19th October, 2021 police received information that Lloyd Chinjenge of the above address was in possession of an undisclosed amount of money on his premises believed to have been unlawfully obtained,” said Hamoonga.
“A search party of officers, among them Detective Chief Inspector Mano Kayombo was constituted to conduct searches on two premises belonging to Chinjenge in Salama Park and another in Ibex Hill. Both searches were witnessed by Mutemwa Jnr on behalf of Chinjenge. Not known to the rest of the search party, whilst the search was going on at the ibex hill premise, Mano and Mutemwa SC, who was instructed by Mutemwa Jnr to assist, went to the Salama Park residence and picked up two bags suspected to have contained the sought money from one of the motor vehicles belonging to Chinjenge on his instruction for safe custody. The incident was witnessed by an officer undercover who was left to keep vigil at the said residence. Police summoned Mutemwa Jnr and under warn and caution disclosed that Mutemwa SC and Mano got the money amounting to $400,000=00 and not $800,000=00. He has since been arrested for theft.”