By CHARLES MUSONDA
A FORMER Patriotic Front official has been denied bail for jumping the earlier one he was given in a case he is charged with forgery and uttering false documents.
Richard Mutale, the former PF Eastern Province secretary, is facing seven counts of forgery, which include forging President Edgar Lungu’s signature on a land allocation document and that of then State House press aide Amos Chanda on a letter acknowledging an appointment with President Lungu.
He is also charged with four counts of uttering false documents and obtaining money by false pretences.
Mutale, 47, is also charged with forging a grade 12 certificate and a University of Zambia (UNZA) degree certificate, a PF business card in his name; and a letter of admission as a supplier of heavy duty mining equipment and goods purporting to show that it was genuinely written and signed by Mines Permanent Secretary Paul Chanda when in fact not.
After two witnesses testified against him yesterday, Mutale re-applied for bail but Lusaka Chief Resident Magistrate Lameck Mwale said he had reservations about giving him bail again.
“You were given bail then you decided to stop coming to court.
I know there is Covid-19, you were given bail but you decided to go to Eastern Province. It is difficult under the circumstances and the only way to go round this problem is to expedite the matter,” Mr. Mwale said after which he adjourned the case to April 23, 2020.
Earlier, director of administration at PF secretariat Alick Tembo testified that the office of advisor to the President, which appeared on Mutale’s PF business card, is not a political party office but a civil service one which falls under the Presidency.
Mr. Tembo said the business card also indicated the office of PF deputy chairperson for labour which is not there in the ruling party structures.
He said business cards are not made by the PF as a party but by individuals who hold particular positions.
Another witness from UNZA said there was no graduation on November 21, 2000, the date indicated on Mutale’s degree.
UNZA customer relations manager Muleba Mwewa said from face value, the UNZA logo on the accused person’s degree was different from the official one.
Mr. Mwewa said Mutale’s name was not in the graduates’ directory from 1996 to 2016.
By CHARLES MUSONDA