Shikapwasha case: Court to rule on invoices

Ronnie Shikapwasha
Ronnie Shikapwasha

THE Lusaka magistrate’s court will today deliver a ruling on whether or not to admit as evidence invoices produced by Zambia Daily Mail director of finance Bryson Mumba.
This is in a matter in which former Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Ronnie Shikapwasha, his former permanent secretary Sam Phiri and freelance journalist Chanda Chimba III are jointly charged with abuse of authority of office, unlawful publication and possession of property suspected to be proceeds of a crime.
Mr Mumba, who is the witness on stand, intends to produce before principal Resident magistrate Obister Musukwa invoices generated by the Zambia Daily Mail for the payment towards the printing of the News of our Times newspaper as part of his evidence.
But the defence has objected to the production of the documents by Mr Mumba saying he was not a competent witness to produce the invoices.
They said Mr Mumba was not the one who generated the invoices as they were generated by an accountant from his company.
The State has on the other hand insisted that Mr Mumba must produce the invoices arguing that as head of the department, he was competent enough to produce the documents.
State prosecutor Martin Mayembe urged the court to dismiss the application and allow for the admission of the documents.
Mr Musukwa later reserved ruling to today.
Earlier, Chimba’s defence lawyer Charles Lisita asked Mr Musukwa to order a Times of Zambia reporter to explain to the court why she misrepresented facts in an article published on February 5, stating that the matter was adjourned the previous day because he was not in court.
Mr Lisita told the court that the article was disparaging not only to him but to the court as well.
But Mr Musukwa refused to make such an order saying it was not necessary.
Mr Musukwa said the article in question was not per se inaccurate apart from the part which said that Mr Lisita was not in Court on February 4, 2014.
The Magisrate, however, urged reporters to be accurate in their reporting.
Among  other  counts, Chimba is alleged to have between June 9, 2011 and September 26, 2011, unlawfully caused the printing or publication of the News of our Times newspaper which was not registered with the office of the director of National Archives of Zambia.