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COURT DISMISSES NAWAKWI’S CASE

By CHARLES MUSONDA

THE Lusaka Magistrates’ Court has dismissed a complaint of intermeddling against Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) president Edith Nawakwi, because the appointment of the administrator was contested in a related matter before the High Court.

Magistrate Felix Kaoma yesterday dismissed the complaint filed by Mulundu Hambulo, son of Ms. Nawakwi’s late husband Geoffrey Hambulo.

In dismissing the complaint, Mr. Kaoma said any person can lay a complaint under Section 90 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) and that the complaint before him touched on interference with the Mr. Hambulo’s estate.

He said one of the essential elements for the case to stand is that there must be an administrator appointed according to the law but since Mulundu’s appointment has been contested in a related matter before the High Court, which has subsequently restrained him from administering the estate by way of an injunction, the complaint against Ms. Nawakwi was premature before court and accordingly dismissed it.

Mr. Kaoma’s dismissal of the complaint followed an application by the defence lawyer State Counsel Chifumu Banda who argued that there is an application pending under cause number 2021/HPF/P002 before High Court Judge Dorcas Malama where Mulundu’s appointment has been questioned.

e Constitution as read with the High Court Act Cap 27 of the Laws of Zambia, the High Court has supervisory jurisdiction over the lower court and that in terms of the Subordinate Act, every magistrate is subject to direction of the High Court.

He submitted that since Mulundu’s appointment as administrator is being questioned and the High Court is yet to determine his fate, it was incompetent for the Magistrates’ Court to administer plea to Ms. Nawakwi.

This was after Mr. Kaoma had directed the prosecution to retract changes made to the amended indictment before Ms. Nawakwi could take fresh plea following reallocation of the case to Mr. Kaoma after Magistrate Nthandose Chabala recused herself from handling the case for undisclosed reasons last Monday.

He had earlier noted that the new indictment had a lot of defects as it did not indicate the district where the alleged offence happened and that there were a number of independent allegations in one count, thereby making it defective as it did not conform to Sections 134 and 135 of the CPC.

In response to an argument by the prosecution, Mr. Banda said the Administrator General is now in charge of the administration of Mr. Hambulo’s estate until a decision of the High Court is made.

Ms. Nawakwi is at loggerheads with her step children who claimed she was not legally married to their father which compelled her to produce a marriage certificate to court which showed that she and the late husband, Geoffrey Hambulo, were married at St Ignatius Parish Catholic Church on December 22, 2014.

While the matter is in the High Court, the children took her to the magistrate court claiming that she was intermeddling with property.

Mulundu filed the complaint against Ms. Nawakwi on grounds that she was interfering with his estate by allegedly removing agriculture equipment from the farm, refusing to hand over keys to properties forming part of the estate, and ignoring administrators’ letters of appointment.

Mr. Banda said on February 25, 2022, Ms. Justice Malama granted an order of injunction removing Mulundu from being administrator until determination of the case.

He said the standing on which Mulundu may have had at the time of filing the complaint against Ms. Nawakwi has been removed and as a result he has no legs to stand on.

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