MINISTER of Justice Given Lubinda yesterday failed to appear in the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court where he was expected to testify as a victim in a case five men have been charged with allegedly assaulting him.
Lusaka Chief Resident Magistrate Lameck Mwale heard that Mr. Lubinda was scheduled to attend Parliament where he was expected to present the Constitutional Amend- ment Bill Number 10 of 2019.
The accused persons in this matter are Mar- tin Mambwe, 38, a driver of Kalingalinga, Patrick Mubanga, 40, of Zambia Railways area behind Intercity Bus Terminus, Major Chansa, 35, of Misisi, Moses Mulenga, 35, and Goodson Mwange, 45, of John Laing, all businessmen.
In count one, Mambwe is charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
In the second count they are charged with proposing violence or breaches of the law to assemblies.
When the matter came up for continued trial before Mr. Mwale, public prosecutor Stuyvesant Malambo said the State was not ready to proceed.
Mr. Malambo said Mr. Lubinda was presenting the bill yesterday, a task he could not delegate.
But defence lawyer Agrippa Malando objected to the application for an adjournment saying Parliament does not sit on Monday.
He said as the record would show, Mr. Lubinda has failed to appear in court for more than two occasions.
Mr. Malando said it is unfair to the accused that the court could be subjected to such lies.
At this point Mr. Mwale shared the defence’s senti- ments saying “like the de- fence has said, the witness is too busy to testify in his own case”.
He said justice is a bal- ance and should not be seen to favour one party.
Mr Mwale then ordered the matter to stand down to allow the arresting officer to testify.
“Last time we agreed that the arresting officer should testify. Let us make some progress. At least if the officer testifies and the complaint does not you can close prosecution,” he said.
Arresting officer Lew- is Mwila later testified that said the first accused Mambwe, who was previously identified in court as the Minister’s assailant, led police to the appre- hension of the other four accused.
He said to be fully con- vinced that Mambwe was the assailant; he decided to hold an identification parade.
“I appointed Inspector Banda to conduct the parade and I excused myself. Mr Lubinda and Dominic Nsokoshi were the wit- nesses. After the parade, Ms Banda brought the re- port and I discovered that the two witnesses only identified Martin Mamb- we on the parade,” he said.
He said having seen the report he made up his mind to charge Mambwe with assault and the rest with proposing violence. The matter was adjourned to March 30, 2020 for continued trial.