2 UPND Livingstone councillors escape jail

TWO suspended councillors at the Livingstone City Council have escaped a jail sentence after the Livingstone Magistrate Court acquitted them after the complainant withdrew the matter .

This is a case in which the two UPND councillors Ziwa Ziwa 39 and Milford Maambo, 46, were facing one count of obtaining money by false pretence contrary to the laws of Zambia.

It is alleged that between April 27, 2015 and January 18, 2016, the duo jointly did obtain K47,000 from Davy Ngulube by falsely pretending that they had a plot for sale when in fact not.

But when the matter came up before Magistrate Michael Mulalelo yesterday for the commencement of trial, the complainant Joan Ngulube who was in the witness’ docket raised her hand to the surprise of the State and told the court that she had an application to make.

She told the court that she wished to withdraw the matter because she has been given her money in full by the accused persons.

But the State objected to her application saying that the matter was a criminal case which meant that it was now the State verses the accused persons and the complainant had no right to withdraw the matter.

“The witness must note that this is a criminal matter. The State is not ready to accept her application and we object to that.

‘‘This is a criminal matter where the state has interest in. There is no documentation which shows that the complainant did receive the money.

“We are therefore applying for an adjournment to April 13, 2016 for commencement of trial because it appears the witness is not ready today. We also want to verify whether she has been paid and also consult authorities.”

However, Ms Ngulube who was scheduled to be the first witness insisted that the matter be withdrawn because she had documents showing she was given back the money.

“I have the documents showing I have been paid. This is why I find it convenient to withdraw the matter. I had even left but I was called to come back,” she said

The State again attempted to object saying that she was merely a witness who has no right or say in the matter as the state had already stated.

This prompted Magistrate Mulalelo to make a ruling and acquitted Ziwa and Maambo.

“The witness being the complainant in this matter has the right to withdraw the matter. I will allow her application and the two accused persons are hereby acquitted,” the magistrate said.

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