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Withdraw Kampyongo case if not ready, state told

By LUCY PHIRI

THE Lusaka Magistrate Court has told the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to withdraw the case in which former Minister of Home Affairs Steven Kampyongo and his wife are charged with possession of property worth over K29 million suspected to be proceeds of crime if they are not ready.

This was after the state made an application to adjourn the matter to prepare the witnesses.

In this matter, Kampyongo, 50, of House No. 31 Kudu Road, Kabulonga in Lusaka and his wife Wanziya Chirwa, 42, a civil servant working as a Chief Planner at the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Arts are facing 11 counts of being in possession of properties suspected to be proceeds of crime contrary to section 71 (i) of the Forfeiture of Proceeds of Crime Act No. 19 of 2010.

When the matter came up for commencement of trial yesterday before magistrate Silvia Munyinya, the state made an application to amend the indictment especially in count one, four and five before the accused persons could take plea.

 After the indictment was amended, the couple took a fresh plea and pleaded not guilty to all the 11 counts.

 After plea was taken, the state made an application to have the matter adjourned to another date because they wanted to prepare their witnesses for trial.

However, the court said the reason of adjournment was not adding up and not valid.

Magistrate Munyinya said she had given the state enough time to prepare but wondered why they still wanted to adjourn the matter.

“You had more than 14 days to prepare. I do not operate like that, I will not allow you to make an unnecessary application. I will allow you and this should be the last adjournment,” she warned.

She also warned the state to withdraw the matter if they were not ready to handle it.

“Matters should come to court  we hear them and conclude. I am inconvenienced and judicial time has been wasted. I will only allow you to adjourn for seven days. If you are overwhelmed and not ready to handle this matter withdraw it, the law allows it,” she said.

It is alleged in count one that Kampyongo and Chirwa on a date unknown but between January 1, 2012 and September 30, 2022 in Lusaka jointly and whilst acting together with other persons unknown did possess an incomplete dwelling house which sits on property number F/135/4301 and property number F/179/4301 located in Eureka off Kafue Road valued at K11.1million, property reasonably suspected of being proceeds of crime.

In count four, it is alleged that  Kampyongo on a date unknown but between January 1, 2012 and September 30, 2022 in Lusaka jointly and whilst acting together with other persons unknown did possess an undeveloped land which sits on property number KAF/LN 59832/8 and KAF/LN 59832/9 in Chifwema Lusaka valued at  K1.6 million, property reasonably suspected of being proceeds of crime.

And in count five, it is alleged that Chirwa on a date unknown but between January 1, 2012 and September 30,2022 in Lusaka jointly and whilst acting together with other persons unknown did possess two semi-detached incomplete houses and a guard house which sit on property number F/33a/F/2470 and property number F/33a/F/2471 located in Meanwood Ndeke, Lusaka valued at K2.1million property reasonably suspected of being proceeds of crime.

The court has adjourned the matter to November 23, 2022 for commencement of trial.

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