PRISCILLA CHIPULU, Lusaka
THE Lusaka Magistrates’ Court has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of two Lusaka men who allegedly forged and issued a work permit to a foreign national on the pretext that it was genuinely signed and issued by Minister of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo, when in fact not.
Owen Shantumbu,40, a chef, and Mambo Maluba,32, a businessman, are charged with forgery, uttering false documents, and obtaining money by false pretences.
Details in the matter are that Shantumbu and Maluba, on dates unknown, but between October 1 and October 18, 2016, in Lusaka, with intent to defraud or deceive, jointly and whilst acting together with other persons unknown, authored a letter authorising issuance of a work permit purporting to show that it was genuinely signed and issued by the Minister of Home Affairs, when in fact not.
The two also allegedly authored a letter authorising issuance of a work permit to Malmood Muffakahar, a South African national.
They also allegedly obtained K12,500 from Muffakahar by falsely pretending that they had a genuine work permit, when in fact not.
When the matter came up for trial yesterday, Minister of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo was scheduled to testify as state witness but could not as the accused persons were not before court.
This prompted magistrate Faides Hamaundu to issue a bench warrant for the accused persons for absconding court hearing.
State prosecutor Richard Nyeleti assured the court that the State will endeavour to execute the warrant.
“Your honour, the accused persons are on bail, and not present. They have developed a habit of not being present, hence delaying and frustrating the case,” Mr Nyeleti said.
He further said the court has recorded six sick notes from Shantumbu and Maluba who he said are in a habit of alternating their non-attendance in court each time they are required to appear.
Magistrate Hamaundu has since adjourned the matter to July 6, 2017 for possible trial.
Meanwhile, special assistant to the President for press and public relations Amos Chanda and Daily Nation proprietor Richard Sakala appeared before a Lusaka magistrate court on allegations of contempt of court.
This follows a summon issued by Lusaka magistrate Felix Kaoma on June 13, 2017, in which he ordered that Chanda and Sakala appear before him for allegations of contempt of court in a matter in which United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema and five others are charged with treason.
The mat ter was however adjourned to today.