via Times of Zambia
FORMER Zambia Daily Mail deputy managing director Davis Mataka yesterday pleaded with the court to accept his explanation over the absence of his defence lawyer, Sunday Nkonde and grant him the last adjournment.
Mataka’s lawyer was not before court yesterday after adjourning on Monday on similar grounds.
The accused appeared before senior resident magistrate Aridah Chuulu who had asked him to offer convincing reasons to warrant an adjournment.
Mataka 44, is jointly charged with former Information Permanent Secretary Sam Phiri, 56 and consultant Ngande Mwanajiti 52, for fraudulently and unlawfully diverting KR195,000, Public media support fund.
Mataka informed the court that he had failed to get in touch with his lawyer since yesterday and asked the court to grant him the last adjournment to allow him find Mr Nkonde.
Ms Chuulu adjourned the matter for only 30 minutes and asked Mataka to find his lawyer or look for someone else to represent him because she did not want to drag the matter.
When the matter resumed at 11:00 hours, another lawyer, a Mr Ngwira from Mr Nkonde’s chambers emerged and apologised to the court over the earlier confusion but emphasised that his counterpart was unwell.
The matter was then adjourned to June 18 this year for continued trial.
Meanwhile, Former Zambia Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria George Mpombo apologised to Chief resident Magistrate Joshua Banda for being absent for his theft by public servant and forgery case.
Mpombo, who is former defence minister in the MMD administration is charged with theft by public servant, forgery and uttering a false document involving K18 million (KR 18,000).The matter was adjourned to May 31, this year for opening of defence.