Sunday, June 23, 2024

Prosecution team admits to duplicity of charges in corruption cases against Sam Phiri and the others


Court Room
Court Room

THE Prosecution team in a matter in which former Information and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary Sam Phiri and three others are charged with corruption has conceded duplicity in the first count but said the same does not warrant for quashing of the charge.

Phiri, former Zambia Daily Mail deputy managing director Davis Mataka, consultant Ngande Mwanajiti and the Zambian Newspaper Limited have raised preliminary issues asking Principal Lusaka Magistrate Aridah Chuulu, to quash the charge of corrupt acquisition of public property on their indictment on grounds that there was duplicity of charges.

But Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) Prosecutor Silumesi Muchula said yesterday that although it was true that there was duplicity in the first count, the same did not call for the court to quash the indictment.

Mr Muchula instead asked the court to allow the State to make amendments to the indictment so that the accused could proceed to take plea.

“We concede your honour that there is duplicity in the statement of the offence under count one in that section 33 (1) (b) creates a separate offence from that cited in section 33 (2) (b). However the question to be answered is whether the accused has suffered prejudice or embarrassment to warrant the quashing of the indictment on account of duplicity,” Mr Muchula said.

He said there has been no prejudice or embarrassment suffered by the accused so far and as such, the motion to quash count one at this stage was premature especially that the accused had not even taken plea.

He said he strongly believed that the remedy for the duplicity did not lie in quashing the count but that necessary amendments could be made to the indictment to make it more suitable for the accused to take plea.

“It’s my humble prayer that count one should not be quashed but the prosecution be allowed to make necessary amendments to the indictment.

Phiri’s defence lawyer Charles Lisita who maintained his motion to have the count quashed said it was however heartening to learn that the State was conceding to duplicity of the count.

And Mwanajiti’s lawyer, Lillian Mushota sought guidance from the court on the move by the State to save the fourth accused (Zambian newspaper) with summons yesterday when the court had already ruled that they would proceed without summons.

Ms Mushota also told the court that she was not competent to represent the newspaper because it was a limited liability company with two directors who are also shareholders of the company.

She said that since the company was governed by the Company Act, issues relating to its legal representation have to be as a way of resolution adding that unless she saw such resolutions from the two directors she felt incompetent to represent the newspaper.

But Mr Muchula said the summons was duly served on one of the directors, Mwanajiti, and as such Ms Mushota should have obtained instructions from Mwanajiti.

Magistrate Chuulu reserved ruling to January 30, 2013.

Phiri, Mataka and Mwanajiti are in the first count charged with corrupt acquisition of public property and revenue.

The Zambian Newspaper Limited, which is the fourth accused and in person being represented by Mwanajiti, is separately charged with unlawful printing and publication.

It is alleged in count one that Phiri, Mataka and Mwanajiti fraudulently diverted K202, 696, 050 Public Media Support Fund from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services for the production of a newspaper called, “The Zambian.”

In the second count, Mataka alias “John Allan Mugwida” and Mwanajiti alias “George Banda,” unlawfully published a newspaper called “The Zambian” which was not registered at the National Archives Department.

The offences were committed between January 1, 2011 and November 1, the same year in Lusaka.


  1. Stop the persecution! You’re giving the country a bad name! Intelligent leaders aspire to be respected . Only despots aspire to be feared! The time of the Amins, Bokassas, KKs etc is long gone. Its time to join the civilized world!

  2. This government and their Director of POLITICAL Prosecution (DPP) have no shame. When will we stop all these hate filled persecutions? In the meantime bigtime crooks like Mahtani are given Nolle Prosequis.

  3. I can predict that come 2016 mutmbo nchito won’t be staying in zambia. The guy is just busy hammering big deals which ukwa does’t know unfortunately

    • I was about to comment same, but me in a more powerful way which always moves the state house from their eating tables. Unfortunately Sata doesn’t understand law or justice.
      The Justice & Home Affairs are in a mess. Mutembo Nchito (former Mutomba Nchito), DPP has never achieved anything, apart from continuosly robbing the government. Kabimba should be concentrating at putting order in his Injustice Ministry, but he is busy organising street cadres to attack innocent Lubinda.

  4. All thieves world over get prosecuted, what would Zambia be if such abuse is ignored. Check Serious Fraud Uk website ignorance is a curse.

    Guilty pleas in £16 million corruption trial
    21 February 2012

    An investigation into the corruption of civil servants has concluded at Belfast Crown Court after all four defendants admitted their involvement. The case centred around payments to show favour for the tendering and continuation of CCTV contracts in Northern Ireland.

    Their guilty pleas mark the conclusion of a joint investigation by the Serious Fraud Office and the Ministry of Defence Police, into bribery allegations, which began in 2002.

  5. What more can Zambians expect from this evil autocratic devil worshiper Dictator Sata?

    These are trumped up charges which has just been framed because Sata wants to get revenge against innocent Zambians who exposed the TRUTH about his evil side.

    I look forward to the day Sata will be frequenting Courtrooms and paying the bills for his lawyers. That is if he reaches there!

    This Dictator Sata wont even survive immunity removal just from his day 1, paliament will remove it from him.

    Zambians hated Sata even before the elections & you can see even now instead of him comforting people like Mangani & Phiri in Eastern Province who paid a political price to support him (to the extent helping in exposing Rupiah BANDA’s Malawi’s parental connections), evil Sata has hurt them the…

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