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Haimbe’s evidence in court disbanded 

By LUCY PHIRI

LUSAKA Senior resident magistrate Irene Wishimanga has erased evidence on record of Justice Minister, Mulambo Haimbe who testified yesterday in a matter in which Patriotic Front ( PF) Information and Publicity Secretary, Raphael Nakacinda is charged with defamation of the President.

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This was after Nakacinda’s lawyer, Jonas Zimba informed the court that he was withdrawing Haimbe as witness and wanted to place another.

Mr. Haimbe was subpoenaed to testify as witness before the court by the defense.

In this matter, Nakacinda aged 43, of farm number 1794, Kafue district pleaded not guilty to defaming President Hakainde Hichilema contrary to section 69 of the penal code chapter 87 of the laws of Zambia.

It is alleged that Nakacinda on December 13, 2021 in Lusaka, with intent to bring the name of President Hakainde Hichilema into hatred, ridicule and contempt, did cause to be published defamatory matter by word of mouth, where he addressed people at the High Court of Zambia, which was also broadcasted by Muvi television that, “His Excellency President Mr Hakainde Hichilema had begun to summon Judges at his private residence, intimidating and coercing them to frustrate PF legal battles.”

When the matter came up yesterday for continuation of defense, defense counsel placed Haimbe who was present before the court as a defense witness who was supposed to tell the court the procedure on how the President appoints judges.

Mr. Haimbe said to his knowledge, the procedure was that judges are appointed by the President Hakainde Hichilema on the recommendation of the judicial process and subject to ratification by Parliament.

When asked if he knew any of the judges that were appointed, he said several of them but unable to give list in terms of details.

Mr. Zimba asked if he recalled doing an interview on, July, 5 2023 at 5 FM radio to which he answered in the arffirmative

“I also appeared with Counsel Makebi Zulu on the show,” he responded.

He said he recalled discussing the Economic and Financial Crimes Court too.

“Would you like us to bring the recording of that transcript of that day” he asked to which Mr Haimbe responded that he had no power.

Mr. Haimbe said he was aware about the case before court where Nakacinda allegedly defamed President Hichilema.

“We have an application to make, that the recording be brought to court. We want to subpoena the recording of a program of July, 27 2023 on a program held on 5 FM radio where the witness on stand appeared with a view to bringing out the critical part of the evidence that we intend to elicit from this witness. This matter is on defense stage and it is important that the accused puts out his defence and is given sufficient time and facility, which includes the said programe and the recordings of the said program,” Mr. Zimba submitted.

But the court denied his plea stating that he should have prepared in advance as he knew the witness was coming and should have brought the recording.

“You should have prepared in advance. You knew that this witness was coming, therefore you should have already brought the recording instead of starting and applying for adjournments. I mentioned earlier that talk to your client, if you are not ready, let’s not start, be serious with court proceedings,” magistrate Wishimanga said

Mr. Zimba in his application said the record was to ensure that all the evidence that speaks to the innocence of his client is put before court.

“Our request is to have the record of the proceedings of that interview on 5 FM radio that speaks to advancing the course of justice, contrary to the allegations by the state. The witness has indicated that he cannot recall what he said, so that has to be put on cross reference so that his memory is refreshed. All that is in the interest of justice. Our application is properly before you and should be allowed. I submit,”

Magistrate Wishimanga said at the stage the court coukld subpoena the recording recorded at 5fm radio.

“Have heard the application, it is surprising that at this stage we should adjourn and subpoena recording, the proper procedure was for defense to call the person with recording and then subpoena Dw4(Haimbe). Therefore the application is declined,” she ruled.

Mr. Zimba then informed the court that he was withdrawing the witness and take the route of calling the person with the recorder at 5fm.

“Then Mr. Haimbe will never come back as witness in this matter. May the evidence of Dw4 be disbanded from the record,” she ruled.

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