Lusaka Senior Magistrate, Irene Wishimanga, has ordered the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to stop investigating the matter involving ex-economic advisor, Hibeene Mwiinga, while it is still active in court.
Mwiinga was ex-economic advisor for President Edger Lungu.
Magistrate Wishimanga said the state should stop investigating an active case which was already before the court.
This was after Mwiinga through his Lawyer, James Mataliro, raised a concern that the ACC were still investigating his matter and wanted one of the accused’s tenants to appear before the court as witness.
This was a matter in which Mwiinga, his wife, son and company pleaded not guilty to 72 counts of being in possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime valued at more than K41 million and more than US$238, 900 cash.
Mwiinga, 60, of Mwembenshi area in Lusaka was jointly charged with his son Hakaantu Mwiinga, aged 33, and wife Mercy Mwenda, aged 56 years old, for being in possession of properties reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime contrary to Section 71 of the Forfeiture of Proceeds of Crime Act No. 19 of 2010 of the Laws of Zambia.
Mwiinga, Mwenda, son and the representative of Hichikey farm Limited Company all denied the 72 charges.
Mataliro in his submission on Monday said the state had continued to investigate the matter even whilst it was already before the court.
“We would like to place on record concern that one of the clients A1 was approached few days ago by some of his tenants who express discomfort in the manner the officers from ACC was approaching saying the tenant should appear in the court. This is a concern, our client is not interfering with the witness of the state the said tenant has been approaching our client to inform him,” Mataliro said.
He stated that the state had continued to investigate the matter even during the time it was called.
“The state has continued to investigate this matter even during the time the matter was called. The thing is this is happening when some tenant entered into his property after the matter was before this court already but still was told to appear in this matter,” he said.
Magistrate Wishimanga said the state should stop disturbing the tenants who reside in Mwiinga’s property as the matter was already before the court.
She further said that when a matter was before the court, it cannot be investigated by anyone.
“I have heard the concern, when the matter is before court it can’t be investigated by anyone. The state should stop investigating the matter, they are bound with procedure of the law,” Magistrate Wishimanga said.
Allegations are that Mwiinga acquired properties including a house in Kingsland City, which he purchased for cash at U$600,000 and five houses in Silverest Gardens all valued at over K4.3million, alleged to be proceeds of crime.
Others include a double storey flat in NAPSA Housing Complex in Ibex Hill valued at K1.5 million and are two properties in Chililabombwe valued at K2.1 million.
Mwiinga also said to be in possession of seven motor vehicles, among them a Mercedes Benz, Jeep Cherokee, Isuzu D-Max, a FAW Truck and two trailers, all valued at over 1.4million kwacha.
Mwinga’s son Hakaantu was accused of being in possession of 9 vehicles valued at K680, 000 and a property in Silverest Garden valued at U$50,000.
Mwiinga’s wife Mwenda is facing charges relating to 11 vehicles valued at K1.2 million and for being in possession of a property in Salama Park valued at over U$20,000.
WARNING! All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express permission from ZAMBIA MONITOR.