Marshlands bosses’ case drags
By CHARLES MUSONDA
TRIAL in a case three Marshlands Consortium directors are charged with forgery, uttering false documents, obtaining money by false pretences, and theft has failed to continue in the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court.
The trial was scheduled to continue yesterday before Magistrate Alice Walusiku but failed because the first accused person Tobias Milambo was absent while his two co-accused persons Nachi Musonda and Richard Lubemba were present.
Public prosecutor Sipholiano Phiri told the court that the State was ready to proceed with one witness but defence lawyer Noel Simwanza said the defence were not ready because of Milambo’s absence.
Mr. Simwanza said his client had travelled out of town and that the prosecution and the defence had agreed to proceed with the case on another preset date of August 5, 2021.
In adjourning the case, Magistrate Walusiku was concerned that Milambo’s surety was not before court to explain his absence.
She said it is the surety’s duty to inform the court about the accused person’s absence and not the defence lawyer.
Milambo, 48, Musonda, 33, and Lubemba, 31, are charged with 15 counts of forgery, uttering false documents, obtaining money by false pretences, and theft.
Allegations are that the accused persons forged documents purporting to show that they had been appointed as directors in Ultimate Insurance Company Limited when in fact not.
It is further alleged that between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2019, the accused persons, with intent to defraud, forged Valuation Reports for properties in Lusaka and Ndola purporting to show that they were genuinely issued and signed by authorised Bitrust Real Estate Innovation Solution for Investors, when in fact not.
They allegedly uttered the same documents to the Pensions and Insurance Authority (PIA) for them to acquire shares in Ultimate Insurance.
At the last sitting, Lusaka businessman Chanda Katotobwe testified that he bought the company for his wife Felicitas Chibamba but the PIA facilitated irregular transfer of shares in the company to Marshlands Consortium.
Mr. Katotobwe, 52, who is also proprietor of Tomorrow Investments Limited, said this was after Milambo, Musonda, and Lubemba approached him to setup a joint insurance company, which led him to buy the entire Ultimate Insurance at K1.5 million.
He said the accused persons irregularly acquired the shares when he was nursing his wife in South Africa and the United States for a knee problem.