State Advocate testifies in Lusaka lawyer’s case


A NATIONAL Prosecution Authority principal advocate yesterday told a Lusaka magistrate’s court that Lusaka lawyer, Keith Mweemba visited her office to inform her that he suspected that the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) had tampered with evidence in a matter in which two Bolivians were charged with drug trafficking.
Marble Nawa testified before Resident magistrate Lameck Mwale that Mweemba, 33, of Chilenje South approached her that he suspected that the DEC had interfered with the evidence in the matter of Jorge Padilla and Jacqueline Pedraza.
Mweemba is facing one count of corrupt practices with a public officer contrary to section 19 (2) as read together with section 41 of the Anti Corruption Commission Act number 3 of 2012.
It is alleged that Mweemba between January 2, 2013 and February 13, 2013 in Lusaka, corruptly promised to give gratification to Monica Mwansa, an assistant senior State Advocate at the National Prosecutions Authority.
The gratification was meant for Ms Mwansa to act favourably by supporting the appeal in the case of Padilla and Pedraza versus the people at the High Court for which Mweemba is the advocate representing the pair.
The Bolivians were last year jailed for five years each by Lusaka chief resident magistrate Joshua Banda but they have appealed against the sentence.
Ms Nawa recounted to the court that one day between January 2 and February 13, 2013 she was in her office attending to her normal duties when Mweemba called asking for an appointment with her after 17:00 hours.
She said Mweemba explained to her that he was representing the two Bolivians in their appeal case to the High Court and wanted to find out whether she had received their appeal record.
She said when she responded in the negative, Mweemba asked her to read the record with emphasis in certain areas because his clients were not satisfied with the court judgment.
Ms Nawa said when the files finally reached her, she allocated the matter to State advocate Margaret Chitundu and asked her to read the record and give her an opinion.
Ms Nawa said Ms Chitundu later informed her that there was overwhelming evidence against Mweemba’s clients as such the State would support the conviction.
Earlier Mr Mwale dismissed an application by Mweemba’s lawyers to have the matter adjourned on grounds that one of the lawyers had another case in the High Court.
Trial continues.