THE case in which the former President Rupiah Banda has dragged Rainbow Party secretary general Wynter Kabimba and Post Newspaper proprietor Fred M’membe to court for defamation and contempt continued yesterday with a witness telling the Lusaka Magistrate Court that two cases involving the former head of State are still active as the courts have not yet determined them.
Mr Roy Chilolo, 40, a clerk of court based at Lusaka Magistrates Court Complex said one of the cases is in the High Court while the other is still in the subordinate court.
Mr Banda is representing by Keith Mweemba, Makebi Zulu, Gilbert Phiri and Jonas Zimba while Kabimba is represented by Eddie Mwita and M’membe by Nchima Nchito and Chisuwo Hamweela.
When the matter came up for trial yesterday before resident magistrate Kenneth Mulife, Mr Chilolo, of Makeni said the case which is in the Lusaka High Court was handled by magistrate Obbister Musukwa before it was referred to the higher court.
Mr Chilolo said the matter was referred to the High Court because of constitutional issues which were raised.
He said the matter has been in the High Court since and it has been allocated to a panel of three judges which is headed by Judge Florence Lengalenga.
The subordinate court referred to the High Court the matter in which former president Banda asked then Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Mutembo Nchito to recuse himself from handling his case citing unfairness.
Mr Banda had complained that he was not comfortable with the DPP handling his case due to the alleged grudge against him arising from the collapse of Zambian Airways which was being run by Mr Nchito, his brother Nchima and Post Newspaper editor-in-chief Fred M’membe.
Then principal resident Magistrate Obbister Musukwa in his ruling said there appeared to be an argument which could not be determined by his court and reffered the matterto high court.
He said his Court had no jurisdiction to interpret constitutional issues and that that power was only vested in the high court.
Mr Chilolo also said there was another matter of concealing facts information about still in Lusaka Magistrates Court.
He said the matter was before magistrate Joshua Banda pending ruling and has not concluded.
It is alleged in this case that the former leader used vehicles, including Mitsubishi Canters and Fuso Fighters, in his 2011 re-election campaign.
Mr Banda has also been accused of personally benefiting from a US$2.5 million oil deal.
Earlier, Mr Nchito told the court that he was not ready to proceed with the matter because he was not feeling well and that he had communicated his condition to the private prosecutors.
He said after conferring with the prosecution lawyers it was agreed that one witness would be cross examined.
Magistrate Mulife adjourned that matter to June 30, 2015 for continued trial.