Phiri, Mataka case fails to take off

former Zambia Daily Mail deputy managing director Davies Mataka

THE matter in which former Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services permanent secretary Sam Phiri and two others are charged with alleged abuse of authority and unlawful printing and publication of a newspaper on Wednesday failed to take off because one of the accused is unwell.
This is in a matter in which Phiri and former Zambia Daily Mail deputy managing director, Davies Mataka are jointly charged with consultant Ngande Mwanajiti for allegedly diverting K195, 000 from the public media support fund.
When the matter came up for continued hearing before Lusaka principal magistrate Aridah Chuulu, Mataka’s defence lawyer Sunday Nkonde informed the court that his client was unable to attend court because he was unwell.
Ms Chuulu said she was in possession of a sick note from Lusaka Trust Hospital indicating that Mataka had been given four days bed rest.
Consequently, Ms Chuulu adjourned the case to March 19, 2014.
It is alleged that Phiri, Mataka, and Mwanajiti fraudulently and unlawfully diverted K195, 000 from the public media support fund from the Ministry of Information for the production and printing of a private newspaper called The Zambian.
In count two Mwanajiti is alleged to have unlawfully caused printing and publishing of a newspaper called The Zambian without it being registered with the director of the National Archives Department.
And trial in which former Patriotic Front Southern Province political secretary Brian Hapunda has been charged with five counts of obtaining money by false pretences, as well as uttering a false document and making documents without authority, has been adjourned due to the absence of the prosecutor and State witnesses.
Livingstone Magistrate Edsen Shanduba adjourned the case to March 17, 2014 for mention and April 23, 2014 for trial.
Magistrate Shanduba adjourned the matter on Tuesday afternoon after provincial public prosecutor Lawrence Mudenda failed to appear in court due to travelling logistics while State witnesses were also absent in court.