Court News

Reject late submissions, court told

By CHARLES MUSONDA
THE Lusaka Magistrates’ Court has been asked to reject late submissions filed by the State in the case where a local contractor is ac-cused of forgery, uttering false documents and obtaining pecuniary advantage.

In this case, G&G Nationwide (Zambia) Limited director Christopher Banda has been accused of forging a Road Development Agency (RDA) contract and a National Council for Construction (NCC) certificate of contract used to obtain a contract on the Mansa-Luwingu road from Chi-na Henan; and obtaining a contract worth U$1, 168 ,052.00.
When the matter came up for ruling on whether or not Banda has a case to answer, Lusaka Chief Resident Magistrate Lameck Mwale ob-served that he had just received the State’s submissions in the morning.
In response defence lawyer Charles Changano told Mr. Mwale to dismiss the late submissions in line with standard law practice and the court agreed in the affirmative.
The court could however not rule on the main matter as the ruling was not ready and will only be delivered on December 14, 2020.
And in his submissions, Mr. Changano, of D. Findlay and Associates, has argued that the prosecution has failed to establish a prima facie against Banda as the evidence presented by prosecution witnesses is untruthful, disjointed, manipulated and incoherent.
He said the prosecution’s evidence was fraught with irregularities, inconsistencies, half-truths and blatant lies.
“This conduct is a clear case of dereliction of duty which entitles this court to take a view that any evidence that was not investigated or deliberately left out by the prosecution was likely in favour of the accused,” Mr. Changano said.
He said the manner in which the police and the National Prosecutions Authority handled the matter, whereby they targeted the accused only to help China Henan fail to pay Banda for the work he had had done on the Mansa-Luwingu road, was unfair and that such an omission was prejudicial, unjust and should not be condoned by the court.
In July 2015 China Henan and G&G had a dispute, which resulted in the appointment of an arbitrator by the Chartered Institute of Arbi-trators (Zambia Branch).
At arbitration, G&G won the matter but China Henan later applied to the High Court to set aside arbitral awards to G&G.
However, the High Court dismissed China Henan’s application and discharged the stay of execution of the awards and arbitral proceedings.
China Henan then appealed to the Supreme Court where Judges Albert Wood, Nigel Mutuna, and Mumba Malila on March 7, 2017 upheld the High Court’s decision.
However, in 2018 China Henan reported Mr. Banda to police on allegations that he used a forged RDA contract and NCC certificate for G&G to win the contract.

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