Chief Resident Magistrate, Davies Chibwili, has denied an application to adjourn the matter in which ex-Lusaka Province Minister, Bowman Lusambo, is accused of acquiring property suspected of being proceeds of crime.
This was after one of Lusambo’s lawyers, Chandiwila Nyimbiri, asked for an adjournment for the reason that the lead lawyers, Makebi Zulu and Nkula Botha, were not present.
Magistrate Chibwili, when the matter came up on Wednesday, denied the application and asked Nyimbiri to cross examine the witness as he was equally on record as one of the accused’s lawyers.
But Lusambo said he was not comfortable to go ahead without his lead lawyers and insisted that the matter be adjourned.
Lusambo then fired Nyimbiri and asked the court to remove him from the record as one of his lawyers.
In this matter, Lusambo was facing two counts of Possession of property reasonably suspected of being proceeds of crime contrary to section 71 of the Forfeiture of proceeds of Crime Act No. 19 of 2010.
Meanwhile, the court also heard how the National Assembly of Zambia paid Lusambo a total of K2,001,696.12 as his personal emoluments.
Maureen Ngala, an Accountant payroll at National Assembly told the court that Lusambo’s Salary arrears from August 2016 and September 2016 was 46,312.17.
Another witness, Tronie Nyirenda, 50, a Deputy Director Finance at National Assembly of Zambia testified that Lusambo got a total of K726, 802.43 as sitting allowances from 2016 to December 2021.
He told the court that Lusambo was entitled to sitting allowances, upkeep, accommodation and Kilometer which are paid whenever they were called for parliamentary business.
“In February 2022, the National Assembly received a warrant of access to information from Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) with regard for the emoluments paid to Lusambo for the period 2016 to 2021. I have the documents and I would like to render them into evidence,” Nyirenda submitted.
It was alleged in count one that on a date unknown but between May 1, 2015, and December 31 2021 in Lusaka, jointly and whilst acting together with other persons unknown did possess property number F/609/E/44/B/9, comprising of a single storey four bedroom dwelling house, guest wing, gazebo and a car shed located in Chamba Valley-Lusaka, property reasonably suspected of being proceeds of crime.
Trial continues on January 30, 2024.
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