11 January 2013

Zambia: Chanda Chimba Refuses to Get Laptop From Police

Freelance journalist Chanda Chimba III has refused to get his laptop back from the Patriotic Front controlled Government Joint Investigating Team.

The GJI otherwise known as the Task Force has offered to give Chimba his laptop which was confiscated five months ago when they searched his residence.

Sources in the investigative team disclosed that Chimba was refusing to get his laptop back.

One sources said nothing incriminating was found on Chimba's laptop after its pass word was over-riden.

"We opened the laptop and got what we wanted but there is nothing incriminating so we want to give it back to Mr. Chimba," the source said.

On August 8, 2012 the task force team searched Chimba's residence with a warrant looking for illegal firearms and offensive weapons including AK47 rifles. The search yielded nothing of the sort but a Toshiba laptop computer was seized.

Another source in the investigative wings say Chimba's laptop had been compromised by the Zambian Intelligence such that if he got it back, whatever he does using the laptop will be tapped.

"We suspect some people have told him the laptop is compromised and he fears if he got it back, he will be fixed," the source said.

"Under normal circumstances, we were supposed to open the laptop in his presence and that of the lawyer," the source said.

Chimba was arrested on Wednesday together with former information minister Ronnie Shikapwasha, journalists Davis Mataka and media consultant Ngande Mwananjiti for publishing articles critical of then opposition leader Michael Sata in the run up to the 2011 elections.

Chanda Chimba III is facing two counts of unlawful printing and publication contrary to section 5 (1) of chapter 161 of the laws of Zambia.

Particulars of the offences are that between June 9 and July 28, 2011 and August 25 and September 26, 2011 respectively, Chanda Chimba III unlawfully did cause to be printed or published a newspaper "Stand up for Zambia" which was not registered at the office of the Director of National Achieves of Zambia.

It is further alleged that Chanda Chimba III unlawfully published a newspaper "News of our Times" which was not registered at the office of the Director of National Achieves of Zambia.

In the last count, Chanda Chimba III is charged with an offence of possession of property suspected to be proceeds of a crime contrary to section 71 of the Forfeiture of Proceeds and Crime Act No. 19 of 2010 of the Laws of Zambia.

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