Sat, 22 Apr 2017 14:05:43 +0000

AN impersonation charge against lawyer Nchima Nchito SC must stand, says  Lusaka Magistrates’ Court.

Lusaka Magistrate Greenwell Malumani has rejected and thrown out an application to  quash the charge.

This means that Nchito will proceed to take plea in the matter where lawyers appointed by the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) are representing him on one count of impersonating a Post Newspapers Limited (in liquidation) advocate.

Defence lawyer Musa Mwenye had applied to the court to quash the charge on grounds that it did not state the actual offence Mr Nchito was alleged to have committed in respect of personating a Post Newspapers Limited (in liquidation) advocate between November 1, 2016 and February 13, 2017.

Mr. Mwenye argued that the charge did not satisfy ingredients of false representation and intent to defraud.

But in his ruling yesterday, Magistrate Greenwell Malumani observed that proceedings against Nchito were commenced by way of a complaint lodged by former Post reporter Abel Mboozi and not by way of bringing before him a person arrested by law enforcement agencies through a warrant.

According to procedure, an individual’s criminal complaint is addressed directly to the magistrate for examination before admitting it and once admitted, the magistrate cannot U-turn and overturn the admission.

“The record shows that I delivered a ruling on 15th February 2017 and I took time to examine the charge and I admitted it. In the light of the foregoing, the only available avenue to the defence is to appeal to the High Court,” Mr. Malumani said.

And private prosecutor Kelvin Bwalya Fube said the defence’s application for guidance was made too late yesterday.

“As correctly observed by this court, the complaint was signed in February and if the defence were unhappy at that point, they would have appealed. We are willing to engage the defence on the way forward. According to section 90 of the Criminal Procedure Code, it is time up and there can be no more guidance from the court,” Mr. Bwalya said.

The case was adjourned to May 16, for the prosecution to inform the court on the way forward over intended plea bargaining with the defence before plea is taken.



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