Trial in the matter in which health minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya is charged with four counts of possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime is likely to take off today.
Lusaka Chief resident magistrate Lameck Mwale on Tuesday ordered that the prosecution commences trial in the matter after state prosecutor Daniel Ngwira earlier lied to the court that operations at Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) have been grounded due to the fact that two employees tested positive to COVID-19, one of them been an advocate on record on this case.
The court later discovered that some of the senior workers were still required to report for work contrary to what Mr Ngwira said.
Mr Ngwira had told court that the workers will only report for work when the Commission gives a go ahead.
However, Dr Chilufya’s lawyers Tutwa Ngulube and Jonas Zimba objected to the application for an adjournment, submitting that if the State was not ready, their client be discharged and brought back when the prosecution was ready.
Ruling in the matter, magistrate Mwale discovered that some of the reasons which prosecutor Ngwira gave the court in order to procure an adjournment were a lie based on an internal memorandum signed by the ACC acting director general, which was exhibited by the prosecution showing that ACC directors, senior and chief prosecutors, including the registry staff were required to remain on duty, which was contrary to Mr Ngwira’s submission that all the workers were required to stay home.
Based on that, Magistrate Mwale ordered that trial proceeds today.