By CHARLES MUSONDA AND KALOBWE BWALYA
IRREGULAR documentation has seen forgery convict Chishimba Kambwili spend the seventh night in prison.
Lusaka High Court deputy Registrar David Simusamba, who sits as Principal Resident Magistrate, yesterday said filing of the notice of appeal and application for bail by Kambwili before he adjourned the matter was irregular.
Mr. Simusamba said the law required that Kambwili who still has to answer to two cases of corruption and 37 counts of being in possession of properties reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime could only file an application for notice to appeal and bail after the court had convicted and sentenced him. The bail application will now be heard tomorrow.
And police yesterday apprehended and detained Kambwili’s wife Carol and daughter Chanda for alleged disorderly conduct and assault on a police officer arising from restrictions on entering the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court complex in line with Covid-19 prevention measures.
Kambwili’s family’s hopes of seeing him outside prison walls were dashed further yesterday after Mr. Simusamba adjourned to tomorrow his ruling on whether or not the convict’s notice of appeal and bail application were competently before him.
Mr. Simusamba will decide whether to proceed with hearing Kambwili’s applications he made shortly after he sentenced him to two years imprisonment with hard labour after convicting him for forgery and uttering false documents last Wednesday.
Kambwili’s family’s anguish was worsened by the State’s decision not to bring him to court yesterday and his lawyers suspected that the warrant to ferry him to court might not have been signed.
When the matter came up yesterday, one of the defence lawyers Eddie Mwitwa told the court that the convict’s application for notice of appeal and application for bail had just been filed.
In response Mr. Simusamba said he was actually in court to hear Kambwili’s application for admission to bail filed last Wednesday and that he did not make any direction for amendment of the application.
He said if he was to be addressed, he should be addressed on the issue he raised in which he wondered how Kambwili could file a notice of appeal and application for bail before the case was adjourned.
Mr Mwitwa then told the court that it was noticed after filing the notice of appeal and application for bail that there were some inaccuracies such as the date.
At this point Mr. Mwitwa reminded the court that the matter was a chamber one and asked if it could be heard as such, after which Mr. Simusamba invited the State and the defence to his chambers where hearing continued.
Upon resumption of the court sitting, Mr Mwitwa said he was a bit uncomfortable because before the court rose to deal with matter in chambers three defence lawyers Keith Mweemba, Gilbert Phiri, and Christopher Mundia were not before court as they had just arrived.
Mr Simusamba later said he would adjourn the matter to tomorrow for ruling on whether the application made on October 14, 2020 before the court had adjourned the matter was competent before him.
Kambwili is also facing two counts of obtaining pecuniary advantage and 37 counts of being in possession of money reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime before Lusaka Principal Resident Magistrate Mwaka Mikalile, two counts of defamation of the President before Lusaka Chief Resident Magistrate Lameck Mwale and Magistrate Felix Kaoma, respectively, and one count of contempt of court before Magistrate Nsunge Chanda.
Earlier outside court, Kambwili’s wife Carol Chansa Chipande and his daughter Chanda caused a stir at the main gate when they had a bitter altercation with police officers after clashing over entry restrictions to the complex.
With tempers flaring, the two were later apprehended and bundled in a police van and driven to Kabwata police station on allegations that they had assaulted police officers.
In an interview later, one of the defence lawyers Christopher Mundia said the two had been charged with assault but that the police had backtracked by saying Carol and Chanda had not yet been charged.
Earlier, UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema was also in the limelight as he had a tough time to enter the complex as police officers allegedly blocked him.
Mr Hichilema was however allowed to enter after negotiating with the officers for about 30 minutes at the rear gate after his earlier attempt to enter through the main gate flopped and was part of the audience in court.
Meanwhile, ZAMBIA National Women’s Lobby (ZNWL) has condemned the allegedly brutal conduct of the Zambia police officers who apprehended the incarcerated Chishimba Kambwili’ s wife Carol and her daughter yesterday at the Lusaka Magistrate court.
ZNWL executive director Juliet Chibuta said Ms Kambwili and her daughter were physically harassed as they were forced into a police vehicle for alleged assault and disorderly conduct.
Ms Chibuta said ZNWL noted that Ms Kambwili and her daughter may have committed an offence, however the force unleashed by police when apprehending them was excessive and uncalled for.
“We therefore call on police IG Mr Kakoma Kanganja to ensure the police brutality is restrained as such conduct may trigger retaliation from the public and further plunge the nation into discord and lawlessness,” said Ms Chibuta.