Power and Politics

Patriotic Front’s Lubinda petitions High Court seeking damages for breach of rights


Patriotic Front vice- president, Given Lubinda, has petitioned the High Court seeking damages for the breach of his right to a fair trial in a matter he is charged of possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime before the Lusaka Magistrate Court.

Lubinda alleged that his right to a fair trial had been violated following the decision of the Magistrate Court to allow the prosecution to produce some documents which include his ordinary statement recorded in 2019 when he was put on defence.

He contended that the decision by senior Magistrate, Standford Ngobola, contravened the Zambia constitution.

Lubinda through his lawyers, Makebi Zulu Advocates, is seeking a declaration that the refusal by the prosecution to produce the documents before the Magistrate court in the said matter was a breach of Article 18 of the Republican Constitution.

And that the High Court should declare null and void the decision of the surbodinate court allowing the prosecution to only produce the said documents when he was put on defence.

The opposition leader further wants a High Court order directing the prosecution to avail his lawyers with his ordinary statement recorded in 2019 from him and the statement recorded from a Chinese, Ju Wenbin.

In his petition citing the Attorney General as the defendant, Lubinda stated that in March, 2022 , he was charged and arrested on four counts of being in posession of property reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime, contrary to section 71 of the Forefeiture of Proceeds of Crimes Act No. 19 of 2010 of the Laws of Zambia by ACC.

He stated that in April 26,2022, trial was commenced before Magistrate Ngobola and the State brought 22 witnesses.

Lubinda said among the prosecution witnesses, was an investigation officer, Fred Tembo.

He said that during cross examination of the prosecution witness, an issue arose as whether or not he ( Mr Tembo) recorded any statement from Mr Ju and him.

Lubinda said that Tembo did confirm having done so, thus defence applied that he produced the documents in court and Magistrate Ngobola granted the application.

He said the documents included an ordinary statement recorded in 2019 from him , a warn and caution statement and an ordinary statement recorded from Mr Ju .

He, however, stated that Mr Tembo only tendered a warn and caution statement and withheld the ordinary statement recorded in 2019 from him and that of Mr Ju, contrary to the court ruling .

However, when stated Lubinda’s lawyer asked why the witness had only tendered selective documents and not all the documents, the court guided that the prosecution could do so when he is put on defence and not at the current stage .

Lubinda submitted that the recorded statements were crucial in proving and disproving the allegations labelled against him at a no case to answer stage.

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