23 January 2013

Zambia: Prosecute Me Separately - Chimba III

FREELANCE Journalist Chanda Chimba III has asked the Lusaka Magistrate's Court to prosecute him separately from his co accused on grounds that he was facing different charges.

His co-accused are former Information Minister Ronnie Shikapwasha, and his former Permanent Secretary Samson Phiri.

Shikapwasha, 65, a politician of 477 Ibex Hill, is jointly charged with Sam Phiri, 56, and Chimba III, 49, with abuse of authority of office, unlawful printing and possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime.

Making an application through his lawyer Major Charles Lisita, Chimba III told Chief resident Magistrate Joshua Banda that the charges were linked to his co-accused persons' counts.

But State prosecutor Martin Mayembe in reply said the court should not entertain the application because doing so would be duplicity of the counts the accused were facing.

Mr Banda has reserved ruling but asked both parties to ensure they prepare written submissions by Friday.

Shikapwasha, who is MMD Keembe Member of Parliament and Phiri are charged with offences of abuse of authority of office while ChimbaIII is charged with unlawful printing, publication and possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime.

Particulars of count one are that Shikapwasha and Phiri, arbitrarily and in disregard of defamation laws and Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) editorial policy, directed ZNBC management to broadcast Chimba's documentary, Stand Up for Zambia.

In count two, Shikapwasha and Phiri, are alleged to have disregarded professional legal advice not to broadcast Stand Up for Zambia, committing Government to paying all liabilities and legal fees between October 1, 2010 and November 31, 2010 in Lusaka.

In court three Phiri allegedly directed ZNBC management to repeat Chimba's documentary free of charge.

In counts four and five, Chimba alleged to have unlawfully caused the printing of newspapers Stand Up for Zambia and News of Our Times, which were not registered with the National Archives of Zambia between June 9 and September 26, 2011.

Chimba in count six is alleged to have been found in possession of a total sum of KR611,440.4 (K611,440,433.12), which he used to pay for his private media and printing services to ZNBC, Muvi TV and Zambia Daily Mail, suspected to be proceeds of crime between June 9 and September 26, 2011.

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