By LUCY PHIRI
MAGISTRATE Faides Hamaundu has dismissed an application by the defence lawyer Makebi Zulu to have Kabushi Member of Parliament Bowman Lusambo and wife Nancy’s matter referred to the High Court for constitutional determination has been dismissed.
The Lusaka Magistrate Court yesterday refused to refer the matter to the higher court because it lacked merit and was nondiscriminatory.
Lusambo and his wife last week pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of corrupt acquisition of property and money laundering related charges.
Lusambo and wife through their lawyers Mr Zulu and Mr Jonas Zimba, applied for their case to be referred to the High Court for constitutional determination.
The lawyers argued that it was discriminatory for Lusambo and his wife to be tried before the Financial and Economic Crimes Court and not the subordinate court.
However, the State Prosecutors Daniel Ngwira and Martin Mayembe, argued that the application was frivolous and should be dismissed.
And in her ruling yesterday, magistrate Hamaundu dismissed the application saying it lacked merit.
“This court has jurisdiction to handle this matter because of the nature of the offence and the impact it has to the society, why should I take the matter to the High Court when it is nondiscriminatory and this court has jurisdiction?” she said.
She said the Financial and Economic Crimes Court was not only for financial crimes but also handles other matters such as gender-based violence and child abuse among others.
“I have struggled to see the reason to why I should refer the matter to the High Court, therefore application for the matter to be heard at the court not granted,” said Ms Hamaundu.
The court set May 17 and 24 for commencement of trial and police bond has been extended for the two.