National Democratic Congress Party (NDC) vice president Joseph Akafumba has described the arrest and charge of the party’s president Chishimba Kambwili as persecution from the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) that stand to benefit from the matter.
Mr Akafumba told journalists in an interview that magistrate in his judgment Magistrate Simusamba made it clear that the case was first reported to Amos Chanda who was at the time press assistant to president Lungu and what followed was the arrest of Dr Kambwili.
Mr Akafumba said by this implication the arrest of Dr Kambwili was a project for the ruling Patriotic Front who stood to benefit from its outcome.
Mr Akafumba said that when the matter started, Dr Kambwili not only reported Magistrate Simusamba’s bad conduct the Chief Justice but also asked the ACC carry out an investigation to establish whether or not there was any wrongdoing in the conduct of Dr Simusamba, adding that Dr Kambwili did not only end at reporting magistrate to the authorities but also sued him in the high court of Zambia.
Mr Akafumba regretted that this is the same magistrate who went on to hear and determine the matter involving Dr Kambwili, adding although what has happened at court yesterday was extremely saddening.
He observed that from the word go, the magistrate had scores to settle with Dr. Kambwili and the fact that he was reported to the chief justice, suggest Magistrate Simusamba was not the right magistrate to hear the matter.
“Even today when reading out the judgment, it was clear that Magistrate Simusamba was settling scores on the perceived conduct of Dr Kambwili especially when accused Kambwili making moves to delaying the court and was going to punish him for it,” he said.
Mr. Akafumba said this was not the way it should be because in all court systems, the magistrate is required to have what he described as water in the mouth.
“Regrettably, magistrate Simusamba had to swallow the water and jumped into the arena to fight Kambwili and for this reason that the judgment came out in the manner it has come, ” he said.
Mr. Akafumba said the party has instructed the lawyers to appeal against the conviction and sentencing all the way up to the supreme court and that he is sure that the facts before court does not support the judgment and this made the chances of succeeding very high.
Mr. Akafumba urged members countrywide not to lose hope because what happened is but just a temporal set back which has come from the PF.