By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA
THERE is no legal procedure that permitted the Magistrate Court to acquit former Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya and eight others of corruption allegations in connection with the Honeybee drugs scandal as I had withdrawn the matter, says Lusaka lawyer Joseph Chirwa.
Mr Chirwa argues that the nine were not put on their defence to warrant an acquittal in line with section 88(a) as read with section 89(2) of the criminal procedure code.
In this matter, Mr Peter Zulu, an advocate of the High Court seeks the Constitutional Court’s interpretation on whether it was lawful and in compliance with article 180(4)(C) of the Constitution for the Lusaka Resident Magistrate’s Court to have acquitted the nine on a complaint made by Mr Chirwa in the absence of authority from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to proceed with a private prosecution.
Mr Zulu questioned whether it was lawful and in compliance with article 180(8) of the Constitution for the resident magistrate Chilando Chibabula to acquit them when Mr Chirwa withdrew his complaint in the absence of authority from the DPP to discontinue the prosecution.
Acquitted alongside Dr Chilufya was former Permanent Secretary Kakulubelwa Mulalelo, Honeybee Pharmacy Limited, former Ministry of Health Procurement Officer Wilson Lungu, ex ZAMRA Director Procurement Officer Bonaventure Chilinde, Chomba Kaoma and Honeybee Pharmacy directors Zakir Hussein Motala, Imran Lunat and Abdurrauf Abdurahim Motala.
In an affidavit in opposition to the matter filed on November 7, 2022, Mr Chirwa submitted to the court that on January 19, 2021, he filed in the Lusaka Magistrate Court a complaint against the nine alleging various criminal offences.