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Justice O’ Metre: Recap of cases involving politically-exposed persons, others; June, 2024


Welcome to Justice O’ Metre, an independent tracker on high profile cases affecting mostly politically-exposed persons within the Zambian judicial system, the rule of law and the administration of justice for common good.


The month of June witnessed a political euphoria engulf the Supreme Court’s grounds when former Head of State , Edgar Chagwa Lungu, appeared before the Constitutional Court in a matter his eligibility to contest future elections is being challenged. We will review some of the interesting cases in June.

Read more: Justice O’ Metre: Recap of cases involving politically-exposed persons, others; May, 2024


Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) president, Edith Nawakwi, Civil Activist, Brebner Changala, Dan Pule, and Members of Parliament, Munir Zulu, and Maureen Mabongo, appeared separately in the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court and pleaded not guilty to seditious practices.

They are accused of inciting the public to revolt against the government and alleging state sponsorship of independent Petauke Central Member of Parliament, Emmanuel Jay Banda’s abduction.

Before commencement of trial in the Pule case, he requested that Magistrate Sylvia Munyinya recuse herself from handling the matter.

In his application, Pule, represented by State Counsels, Sakwiba Sikota and Chifumu Banda, expressed concerns about receiving a fair trial due to Magistrate Munyinya’s ties to Southern Province, which was central to the case.

They argued that her connection to the region might affect her impartiality given the case’s sensitivity.

Magistrate Munyinya, declined to rescue herself and asserted that mere allegations of bias without substantial evidence were insufficient. She emphasized that suspicions or apprehensions alone did not establish partiality.

The Magistrate questioned Pule’s confidence in his lawyers, who also hail from the “Zambezi region,” while challenging her impartiality.


Hearing of Preliminary Issues raised by former President Edgar Lungu came up before a full Constitutional Court bench on June 14. The hearing was characterised by political euphoria as hundreds of PF supporters turned up to offer solidarity to the former President.

During hearing, the State represented by Attorney-General Mulilo Kabesha, and Solicitor-General Marshal Muchende asked the court not to dismiss the petition, arguing that the issue of Lungu’s eligibility was not finalized in the previous rulings made by the court.

They contended that the matter was neither finalised nor time-barred and therefore, the petition should be heard on its merits.

However, Lungu’s legal team, consisting of Makebi Zulu and Jonas Zimba, questioned the motive behind the repeated petitions, urging the court to end what they described as an abuse of process.

They argued that Lungu should not be repeatedly summoned to court over the same eligibility issue, noting this marks the fifth time the issue had been brought before the court.


New evidence emerged in the trial involving former Foreign Affairs Minister, Joseph Malanji and former Secretary to the Treasury, Fredson Yamba, and Malanji are charged with willful failure to comply with procurement procedures and being in possession of property reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime, respectively.

A Congolese Magistrate, Charles Kabozya, testified in the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court that his investigation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) found that documents submitted by Malanji to support his claims of legitimate business activities in the DRC were false.

Kabozya said investigations revealed that Malanji’s company had no account with Raw Bank in the DRC and there was no trace of any business dealings between his company, Gibson Power Systems, and the Chinese companies Mass Investment Group and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation.


Nine PF MPs suffered a blow after the constitutional court dismissed their petition challenging their expulsion from the party by Miles Sampa.

The MPs whose seats were now declared vacant by the Speaker Nelly Mutti had claimed a violation of Article 60(2) and further argued that Sampa had no authority to expel them as he was illegally elected.

An 11-member bench, which included Constitutional Court president Justice Professor Margaret Munalula, her deputy Justice Arnold Shilimi, Judge Annie Sitali, and Justice Palan Mulonda, concluded that their jurisdiction did not cover the interpretation or violations of political party constitutions.

The court explained that its jurisdiction, though broad, was confined to constitutional matters as outlined in Article 128.

The court further indicated that any judgment on the matter would be void if they proceeded.

Consequently, the Court dismissed the petition.


The Lusaka Magistrates’ Court has committed 30-year-old wheelbarrow pusher who attempted to sell his stepchild for K150, 000 to the High Court for setenceing.

Silomba and his co-accused Martin Sichalwe, a 41-year-old security guard, and Kennedy Sichiweza, a 30-year-old businessman, pleaded guilty to the charge of child trafficking contrary to Section 3A(1) of the Anti-Human Trafficking (Amendment) Act No.16 of 2022.

The trio, on unknown dates but between March 19 and 21 this year, jointly and while acting together, obtained a four-year-old child for the purpose of exploitation.

They attempted to sell the child to a man in the Makeni area for K150, 000, but he reported the matter to the police.


Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Gilbert Phiri, commenced proceedings in the Economic and Financial Crimes Court to forfeit properties worth more than K9 million allegedly connected to a money laundering scandal involving three directors of the National Housing Empowerment Fund (NHEF).

The three directors implicated in the scandal are Lusuntha Ngulube, Kamphembele Ngulube, and Margaret Mabingo, and are accused of defrauding the public under false pretenses of selling plots between April 2020 and August 2022.

NHEF allegedly swindled individuals by advertising plots for sale at Farm No. 302A, located in the Cross Park area along Leopards Hill Road in Lusaka, and Farm No. 9819, popularly known as Emerald Park Estates in Chongwe district.

The application targets assets believed to be proceeds of crime, including funds in accounts at First National Bank (FNB), Zambia National Building Society (ZNBS), and NATSAVE, as well as 18 motor vehicles.

Drug Enforcement Commission investigation officer, Yona Siame, submitted that investigations revealed substantial withdrawals from FNB account number 62840820999, totaling K100,069,754 by Kamphembele Ngulube, K450,000 by Mabingo, and K1,205,000 by Lusuntha Ngulube.


Outspoken opposition leader Sean Tembo, applied to the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court to issue a warrant of arrest against Education Minister, Douglas Syakalima, for failure to attend court sessions.

Tembo is suing Syakalima for hate speech, alleging that the minister publicly claimed that people from Luapula suffer from “poverty of the mind.”

Tembo argued this statement violates Section 65 of the Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act of 2021.

At the hearing before Magistrate Mwandu Sakala, Tembo acknowledged he has yet to receive consent from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to privately prosecute the case but was unsettled that the accused was not before court.

He, therefore, asked the court to issue a bench warrant to have the Minister arrested.

Defense lawyer, Clavel Sianondo, countered that without DPP’s consent, Tembo lacked the capacity to make such applications, rendering the request null.

Sianondo also cited legitimate reasons for Syakalima’s absence due to prior state commitments.

Magistrate Sakala is on July 9, scheduled to render ruling on the application.

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