Power and Politics

Ex-Minister of Defence, Mwamba, seeks court permission for medical treatment abroad amid legal battle


Former Defence Minister, Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, also known as GBM, has sought permission from the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court to travel abroad for medical treatment.

The request was made by his legal representatives during his appearance before Magistrate Stanford Ngobola on Wednesday.

Mwamba faces 24 charges, including conflict of interest, money laundering and possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime.

He had been issued a bench warrant for missing court sessions but explained his absence, stating that on May 8, he was admitted to Medlands Hospital due to health issues.

“In the early hours of May 8, my oxygen intake started reducing while I was at home. Then I decided to go to the hospital. Immediately upon my arrival at the hospital, I was put on oxygen and they started giving me IV’s to bring down my blood pressure and also to control my cardiac problem,” he explained.

Read more: Magistrate raises the alarm over rising cases of child theft from hospitals, as court convicts three

He recalled calling his son to appear in court with a sick note and one of his sureties did present the document to court.

Mwamba expressed shock upon learning that a bench warrant had been issued against him.

While on oxygen, Mwamba received a visit from three Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) officers who wanted to confirm his health status.

The officers were allowed inside the room and also spoke with the doctor.

In response, Ngobola revealed that the bench warrant was triggered by his dissatisfaction with the reason the surety gave, especially since the surety did not know the hospital where Mwamba was admitted.

The trial Magistrate gave Mwamba the benefit of the doubt and revoked the warrant. However, he expressed concern about the delay in concluding the matter.

“He took the stand on March 16, 2023, and he has been on stand for more than a year. There is an adage which says, justice delayed is justice denied, justice is done not only to the accused but the public as well.

“Going forward, I order that only medical opinions from government institutions shall be used to render the adjournment from the accused as proof,” he said.

Regarding Mwamba’s application to travel abroad for medical treatment, Ngobola ordered the State to file their response, and he is set to deliver a ruling on May 24.

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