THE Lusaka magistrate court has found former Information and Broadcasting minister Ronnie Shikapwasha with a case to answer in a matter he is charged with abuse of authority of his office.
Also found with a case to answer is his co-accused former Information permanent secretary Sam Phiri.
The duo is alleged to have directed ZNBC to broadcast documentaries by Chanda Chimba contrary to professional advice not to air the programmes.
Mr Chimba, who has also been found with a case to answer, is charged with being in possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime worth K611,440,433 and two counts of unlawful printing and publication of two newspapers and a documentary namely ‘‘Stand up for Zambia’’.
Magistrate Obster Musukwa placed Shikapwasha and his co-accused Phiri on their defence to answer charges of abuse of authority leveled against them.
Mr Musukwa said in his ruling on Friday that the State had established a prima facie case against Shikapwasha, Dr Phiri and Chimba.
He said that after analyzing the evidence from the prosecution witnesses and the submission filed in court, he was satisfied that the prosecution had proved its case against Shikapwasha, Dr Phiri and Chimba beyond any doubt.
This is in a matter in which Shikapwasha and Dr Phiri are in count one charged with abuse of authority of office by directing ZNBC to broadcast Chimba’s documentaries against professional advice and another count of abuse of authority of office by committing the Government to pay legal fees and liabilities for the same documentary.
State witnesses including and Sub-Chief Inspector Peter Bwalya of Zambia Police, who was the arresting officer, testified how Shikapwasha and Dr Phiri allegedly abused their authority of office by directing ZNBC to broadcast episodes against professional advice.
The trio told the court that they would give sworn evidence and would call witnesses when they open their defence on June 9 and 10.