By Bennie Mundando
THE imprisonment of Chishimba Kambwili to 12 months with hard labour by Magistrate David Simusamba is a Patriotic Front (PF) prosecution but time for them will come, National Democratic Congress (NDC) vice president Joseph Akafumba has warned.
Lusaka Principal Resident Magistrate David Simusamba has jailed Mr. Kambwili who is NDC president for forgery and uttering a false document ton one year each but the two sentences will run concurrently, meaning he will only serve a year.
Mr Kambwili has been convicted in count one of forgery and count two of uttering a false document but has been acquitted of the charge of giving false information to a public officer.
But speaking to the media soon after the judgement, Mr. Akafumba said the imprisonment of Mr. Kambwili is not shocking going by the way Magistrate Simusamba has conducted himself over the matter.
“This judgement is a PF persecution and we were ready for it but time for them will come. What has happened today at court is quite very sad but we expected it because the journey president CK took is out of the realm of any justice system.
“CK reported Magistrate Simusamba’s bad conduct to the Chief Justice. He went further to report Magistrate Simusamba to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and he has also sued Magistrate Simusamba in the High Court of Zambia. All these are matters which are alive and active even as at now.
“But this is the same Magistrate who went ahead to hear and determine the matter of CK. From the word go, Magistrate Simusamba had scores to settle. We went as far as the Chief Justice to air the complaint that Magistrate Simusamba was not the right Magistrate to determine this matter,” Mr. Akafumba said.
He says even today when he was reading out his judgement, it became very clear that what he was settling were the perceived conduct of Mr. Kambwili in his eyes as he went on to say because of what happened, because of him (Magistrate Simusamba) not coming to court, we alleged that he was going to derail the court process and therefore was going to punish him.
He says the NDC is going to appeal the judgement and that it will go all the way to the Supreme Court in pursuing justice.
“I don’t think that is the way it should have been done or the way it should be. In all court systems, the Magistrate must have water in the mouth but Magistrate Simusamba decided to swallow the water and jump into the arena. That is why this judgement is in the manner that it is. So, we are not shocked but Magistrate Simusamba is not the final court.
“We are going to appeal all the way up to the Supreme Court but we are quite very sure that the fact of case does not support the judgement and therefore our chances of succeeding at the High Court are very high,” he said.
He asserted that the judgement is stained with political interference but appealed to party members not to lose hope, describing the judgement as a minor setback.
“To all our members countrywide, they must not lose hope. This is just a temporal setback which has just come from the PF
“In his judgement, Magistrate Simusamba made it very clear that (Chilufya) Tayali first reported to Amos Chanda and Amos Chanda who, at the time was assistant to the president for press and public relations, reported to the President and thereafter, what followed was the arrest of CK,” he said.