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KAMBWILI ACQUITTED IN LIBEL CASE

By CHARLES MUSONDA FORMER

National Democratic Congress (NDC) leader Chishimba Kambwili has been acquitted in a case he was charged with defamation of the President. In this matter, Kambwili was found with a case to answer and put on his defence for alleging that Lusaka business executive Valden Findlay was using the Presidential jet to courier drugs.

 When the case came up yesterday for continued defence before Lusaka Magistrate Felix Kaoma, private prosecutor State Counsel Emmanuel Bupe Mwansa told the court that complainant Peter Chanda, who is New Congress Party (NCP) president, had decided to withdraw his complaint against Kambwili so that the parties could resolve the matter amicably.

Mr. Mwansa said the prosecution had invoked Section 88 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) in withdrawing the complaint against the former Roan MP. Defence lawyer Keith Mweemba then applied to the court that Kambwili be acquitted under Section 201 of the CPC since the case was privately prosecuted after which Mr. Kaoma acquitted the latter. After his acquittal, Kambwili thanked Mr. Chanda and the private prosecutors for deciding to withdraw the complaint against him.

He said he had been going to court frequently for the past few years and some people wanted to see him continue going to court all the time. In March this year, Kambwili unreservedly apologised to President Lungu and Mr. Findlay for accusing them of being drug dealers. He said he should have cared enough to verify the information that was given to him by some people before making a media statement. He still has another case of defamation of the President pending before High Court Judge Lameck Mwale, who sits as Chief Resident Magistrate in the matter Kambwili has been put on his defence for allegedly referring to President Lungu as a dog from Chawama.

In another case before High Court Judge Mwaka Mikalile, who sits as Principal Resident Magistrate, Kambwili, his son Mwamba, two Zambia Revenue Authority employees, and Mwamona Engineering Technical Services Limited, have been found with a case to answer for making a false tax clearance certificate, uttering a false document, obtaining pecuniary advantage, and possessing over K6 million suspected to be proceeds of crime.

 Last October, Kambwili was convicted for forgery and uttering a false document by High Court Deputy Registrar David Simusamba who sat as Principal Resident Magistrate in another matter which saw him spend 13 days in prison before he was released on bail pending appeal.

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