Friday, June 14, 2024

Don’t acquit cocain suspects, Court told


The State has asked the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court to throw out the two applications by the lawyers representing three key suspects accused of trafficking in 24 kilograms of cocaine which allegedly went missing, arguing that they are frivolous and lack merit.

Defence counsels Keith Mweemba and Shadreck Mbewe in the last sitting made an application to the court to have the drugs in question subjected to chemical analysis and examination, as well as, alternatively have the accused acquitted as the purported drugs which required retesting had gone missing.

In this matter, Sydney Mwansa, Shaibu Likuta and Teddy Matanda are alleged to have trafficked in 24 kilograms of cocaine which has gone missing whilst in the custody of the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court which eventually led to the arrest of seven court officials and two businessmen.

But when the matter came up before chief resident magistrate Kenneth Mulife, Deputy Chief State Advocate in charge of taxation and financial management unit Gamaliel Zimba objected to both applications by the defence to have the drugs retested as well as to acquit the accused persons.

Mr Zimba has argued that that the application to have the drugs retested was frivolous, vexatious and lacked merit because there was no provision of the law supporting the application.

“The State is objecting to both applications. For the first application relating to the retesting of the drug, the State finds the application to be frivolous, vexatious and lacking merit and as such this court should dismiss it”, He has said.

Mr Zimba adds that the state have found no provision supporting this sort of application as and wonders what provisions of the Criminal Procedural code is this application anchored on.

Zimba has further argued that after looking at the exhibits produced in court, it would show that the drugs were seized from the accused persons and later on examined.

“We also had a look at the exhibits that were produced in this court, an affidavit from a public analyst and an an analysis of the two documents, we will show your honour that drugs were seized from the accused persons and that those drugs were later on subjected to the food and drug laboratory for analysis,” he has said.

At this point, Mr Mweemba objected to Mr Zimba’s submission arguing that he was raising evidence from the bar as the accused persons were not found with the drugs.

“We wish to object to that line of submission from the bar. The law as espoused by the Supreme Court is that evidence from the bar or submissions can not amount to evidence”, Mr Mweemba has said.

Mr Mweemba says adducing evidence in the submissions is not allowed because no one in Non this court qualify to say those were drugs.

In reply Mr Zimba has argued that he had not adduced any evidence but simply restated what was already on record.

In his ruling Magistrate Mulife has overruled the defence’s objection saying Mr Zimba was simply stating the contents of the document and that it would not prejudice the accused.

In arguing to the second application by the defence Mr Zimba has argued that the second application by the defence to acquit the accused persons was baffling because sufficient evidence had been produced to prove that the drugs trace back to the accused persons one way or the other.

He says if the defence are arguing that the accused persons be acquitted, he has wondered on what basis will the acquittal be as a careful perusal of the record will show the kind of exhibits that the State produced.

Mr Zimba has contended that it is the State’s position that at the time that an affidavit was produced from the food and drugs as prepared by the public analyst, the State had demonstrated at that point that material which was subjected to examination did test positive for cocaine.

He adds that there is no basis for an acquittal at this stage.

In reply, the defence have applied for an adjournment to enable them respond with the citations from authorities.

The matter has been adjourned to October 11.


  1. Question : When does a lawyer start lying?
    Answer; As soon as he opens his mouth.
    These lawyers know that the exhibit disappeared for the same reason they are giving that’s to retest the sample. Without the sample there’s nothing to retest, without something to resample, there’s no case.

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