Lusaka Chief Resident Magistrate Joshua Banda has reserved ruling in a matter involving former Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Ronnie Shikapwasha, his former Permanent Secretary Samson Phiri and Journalist Chanda Chimba III.
Magistrate Banda said this morning when the matter came up for ruling after receiving written submissions after the last session from both parties, that he has reallocated the matter from his court to a new magistrate, Catherine Walubita.
Magistrate Walubita has been transferred from Ndola to Lusaka.
During the last sitting, defence lawyer Major Lisita applied to have his client Chanda Chimba III charged alone on a separate indictment as opposed to the current situation where he is charged with Lieutenant General Shikapwasha and Dr. Phiri.
However, the state prosecution team argued the three accused persons were facing offences that were inter linked in some way thereby it was correct to have them charged from one indictment.
The prosecution team argued that the defence team will understand the link in the charges when trial begins in the matter.
At this point, Magistrate Banda ordered the two parties to submit their arguments in written before the three accused persons could proceed in taking plea.
Magistrate Banda has since adjourned the matter to February 12, this year and it will be heard by magistrate Walubita.
Lt. Gen. Shikapwasha, Dr. Phiri and Mr. Chimba are facing charges of abuse of authority, unlawful printing and publication and being in possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Meanwhile, four youths that were arrested in connection with the murder of opposition Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) leader Edith Nawakwi’s step daughter have appeared in the same court for explanation of the charge.
Evelisto Mulundu, 20, a garden boy, Aaron Banda, a garden boy, Clive Fuya 26, Lyford Moyo 24, a waiter, are charged with murder contrary to section 200 of the penal code and cap 87 of the laws of Zambia.
It is alleged that Mulundu, Banda, Fuya and Moyo on January 7 this year jointly and whilst acting together did murder one Hatamba Hambulo.
In the second, the four are charged with aggravated robbery contrary to section 294 (1) of the penal code and cap 87 of the laws of Zambia.
Particulars of the second charge are that Mulundu, Banda, Fuya and Moyo on January 7 this year jointly and whilst acting together did steal a motor vehicle namely Honda Fit registration number ALC 4598, one camera and two cell phones altogether valued at K46 million (KR46,000), the property of Hatamba Hambulo.
It is further alleged that at or immediately before or after the time of the theft, the four did use or threaten to use actual violence to Hatamba in order to retain or obtain the things or prevent resistance from her.
The four will again appear for mention on February 12 as the state waits for instructions from the Director of Public Prosecution office (DPP).
Hatamba’s body was early this month found murdered and dumped in a manhole at her house in Ibex Hill with her legs and arms tied.