THE State has asked the Lusaka Magistrate Court to adjourn the matter in which former President Rupiah Banda is charged with abuse of authority of office to February 10 next year, saying it is considering whether to bring the two remaining witnesses.
This is in a matter in which Mr Banda, 75, of house number 3, Plot 2759, off Leopards Hill Road in Lusaka, is charged with one count of abuse of authority of office, contrary to section 99 (1) of the Penal Code, Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia.
Director of Public Prosecutions Mutembo Nchito said the State was likely to close its case at the next sitting because it has only two remaining witnesses.
Mr Nchito said the adjournment was to allow the State to consider whether to bring two of its remaining witnesses.
He said the State has followed the court’s order not to ask for unnecessary adjournments.
“We have two more witnesses remaining including the arresting officer, the other one, we would like to consider whether it is necessary to bring him. It is necessary that we consider one or two things before we proceed, particularly that we are almost at the close of the State’s case,” Mr Nchito said.
Chief Resident Magistrate Joshua Banda granted the application and adjourned the matter as the defence had no objection.
Mr Banda will be represented by his lawyers when the matter comes up for mention on January 10 next year while trial has been set for February 10.
Particulars of the offence are that on dates unknown but between May 1, 2008 and September 24, 2011 in Lusaka, Mr Banda, being a person employed in the public service, namely President of the republic of Zambia, did abuse the authority of his office.
He allegedly procured a Nigerian government-to-government oil contract in the name of the republic of Zambia “which he in fact meant to benefit himself and his family”.
Mr Banda is accused of instructing his son Henry Banda to determine the destination of the proceeds of this contract, an instruction from which the republic of Zambia did not receive any benefit.
Mr Banda’s alleged act is “arbitrary and prejudicial to the interests of the republic of Zambia”.