Lusaka Chief Resident Magistrate, Davies Chibwili, has reallocated to himself, the matter in which former Health Permanent Secretary, Kennedy Malama and eight others are charged with willful failure to comply with applicable law and procedure.
This was after a senior magistrate handling the case recused himself.
Malama and his co-accused, however, failed to take a fresh plea due to the absence of one of the accused persons.
Magistrate, Sandford Ngobola, was the magistrate who was handling the matter and was going on a transfer to another town outside jurisdiction.
Magistrate Ngobola was the same magistrate handling the matters of Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba (GBM), Given Lubinda, among other prominent figures.
In the first matter, Malama was jointly charged with former Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Administration Kakulubelwa Mulalelo and seven others.
The nine are jointly charged with willful failure to comply with applicable law and procedure contrary to Section 34 (2) (b) of the Anti-Corruption Act number 3 of 2012.
This is in relation to the procurement, supply and delivery of 50 ambulances.
Malama is jointly charged with Francis Bwalya, 55; Gardener Syakantu; Muzaza Nthele, 48; Rebecca Ndhlovu, 60; Maximillian Bweupe, 51; Wilson Lungu, 37 and Kakulubelwa.
When the matter came up for allocation on Tuesday, Magistrate Chibwili re-allocated it to himself.
The accused persons could, however, not take plea due to the absence of one of the accused persons.
Bwalya’s lawyer, James Mataliro, informed magistrate Chibwili that his client was not before court due to an illness.
“When the matter came up previously, there was an application for an adjournment on behalf of accused number (A3) Dr Francis Bwalya and before the application was heard, the trail court then Honourable [Sanford] Ngobola recused himself and transferred the case for re-allocation on grounds that he has been transferred.
“The grounds that the motion to adjourn was well set up with a motion to support that to say A3 is unwell and attending treatment and the same reason as to why he is not before this court today. We pray that the matter be mentioned,” said Mataliro.
The matter comes up on August 30, 2023 for possible plea.
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