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Makebi asks magistrate to cite ACC officer

DEFENCE lawyer Makebi Zulu has asked Lusaka magistrate Trevor Kasanda to cite an investigations officer of Anti- corruption commission (ACC) for contempt of court after he refused to answer some of the questions asked during cross examination.

Mr. Mulenga Mulenga, 31, during cross examination also said former Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo did not dissuade witnesses to testify before another court.

In this matter, Lusambo pleaded not guilty to three counts of attempting to interfere with a witness contrary to Section 112 (1) (b) as read with section 389 (1) of the Penal Code Cap 87 of the laws of Zambia.

When the matter came up yesterday for continuation of trial, Mr Mulenga testified that he established that Lusambo had knowledge of who the witnesses where but he went ahead to talk to them.

He also established that on April 7, 2022 Mr Lusambo did endeavor to dissuade or prevent witnesses to testify in the matter he is charged with possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime before magistrate Faides Hamaundu.

But when asked in cross-examination if Lusambo dissuaded the witnesses from testifying he said no.

“Did Mr Lusambo dissuade any witnesses from testifying? No, he did not they all testified,” he responded.

Mr Zulu also asked if attempting to interfere and interfering with witnesses means the same, Mr Mulenga took a deep breath and said no.

Mr Mulenga explained that attempting to interfere does not mean interfering, it may be successful or unsuccessful.

Mr Zulu asked if as an officer met Lusambo last year and he was arrested and suspended by the ACC for meeting him, he said he couldn’t remember.

“Where you meeting an accused person, when did you report for work after a suspension, did you exculpate yourself?” he asked. I can’t remember, he responded.

Mr Zulu then submitted that witness on stand was not responding to his questions and made an application to the court to cite him for contempt as he couldn’t respond to clear questions.

Mr Zulu also submitted that the state should not respond to the application.

However, state prosecutor Daniel Ngwira said there was no way the defence could make an application and expect the state not to answer questions.

 “We are part of the proceedings and the defense cannot say that we cannot respond,” he submitted.

The court has adjourned the matter to January 26, 2023 for ruling.

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