No Show For Kambwili Lawyers As Magistrate Simusamba Closes Defence


National Democratic Congress leader Mr Chishimba Kambwili’s lawyers today failed to show up in court for a case where their client is charged with forgery, uttering a false document and giving false information to a public officer, forcing Lusaka principal resident magistrate David Simusamba to close the case. Judgement has since been set for set October 12, 2020.
However, Mr Kambwili who is National Democratic Congress party leader, has expressed shock at magistrate Simusamba’s decision to close his defence when he still had two more witnesses to aid his defence.
At the last sitting, magistrate Simusamba gave Mr Kambwili the last adjournment after the accused indicated that he had two more witnesses to aid his case.
However, when the case came up, Mr Kambwili’s lawyers led by Musa Mwenye, Christopher Mundia and Keith Mweemba were not before court and a lawyer from Mundia’s law firm, C.L Mundia and Company, Jacqueline Lungu, applied for an adjournment, explaining that Mr Mwenye, State Counsel, was appearing in the Court of Appeal.
Mr Mundia and Mr Mweemba were also not around as they were appearing in the Lusaka High Court and Chipata court respectively.
State prosecutor Mukumi Chipawa reminded the court that magistrate Simusamba had given the last adjournment in the matter and left it to the court to make a decision.
In his ruling, magistrate Simusamba ordered that he had given the defence the last adjournment last Tuesday when Mr Kambwili’s son Mwamba testified.
He directed that he would proceed to render his judgment in 14 days’ time.
He gave both the State and defence a week in which to file submissions despite lawyer Lungu asking for four weeks in which to file.
Before Kambwili opened defence in the matter, he lodged a complaint at the Judicial Complaints Commission against magistrate Simusamba’s perceived bias and also alleged that that he solicited for a bribe. But magistrate Simusamba, in his exculpatory to Chief Justice Irene Mambilima, said it was in fact the accused who offered him a bribe.
The Chief Justice then asked mr Kambwili to report the matter to the Anti-Corruption Commission, which he did.
Later, Mr Kambwili asked magistrate Simusamba to recuse himself and refer the matter to the High Court for determination but the court dismissed both applications.
Mr Kambwili then sought Judicial review proceedings to challenge magistrate Simusamba’s refusal to recuse himself but the High Court throw out the case, saying it was within magistrate Simusamba’s judicial powers to refuse to recuse himself.
In another matter, Mr Kambwili and his lawyers Cheelo Mwiinga and Christopher Mundia sued the magistrate seeking damages for defamation of character.
The NDC has again reported magistrate Simusamba to the JCC.
The JCC has since recommended to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) that Simusamba be removed as a judicial officer following a complaint lodged by MMD president Nevers Mumba.

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