CAROLINE KALOMBE, PRISCILLA CHIPULU, Lusaka
UNITED Party for National Development (UPND) Chilanga Member of Parliament Keith Mukata and his co-accused, Charmaine Musonda, yesterday pleaded not guilty to murder in the Lusaka High Court.
And a Lusaka woman, Tshiabu Benos, accused of murdering Auto Force proprietor Reeves Malambo, broke down in court yesterday after she denied causing his death.
In the earlier case, Mukata, 45, a lawyer and politician, and Musonda, a business executive of 2158 Lusaka West, are charged with the murder of Namakau Kalila kwenda.
When the case came up for plea before High Court judge Susan Wanjelani, the duo said they understood the charge, but denied committing the offence.
Mukata and Musonda are represented by three lawyers, Eric Silwamba, Lubinda Linyama and Willis Muhanga.
Mukata came to court clad in a black suit and white shirt, and appeared unperturbed as he sat in the courtroom. He chatted with some of the lawyers that went to greet him.
Musonda was clad in a sky blue knee length jacket, a blue top and a cream chitenge wrapped underneath the jacket. She appeared calm and collected as the charge was read out.
Particulars of the offence are that on May 6, 2017, the duo jointly, and whilst acting together, allegedly murdered Namakau Kalila Kwenda, 63, a security guard of Lusaka’s Ng’ombe Township, at Mukata’s law firm in Rhodes Park.
The case has been adjourned to September 8, 2017.
Meanwhile, Tshiabu Benos, accused of murdering Mr Malambo broke down in court as she denied causing his death.
Dressed in black, Benos, who appeared distraught, could not hold her tears as she wept throughout the opening of the September criminal session of the High Court.
And when her case was called, the sorrowful Benos was kept wiping her tears as she took her stand.
After a plea of not guilty was recorded by high court judge Getrude Chawatama, Benos said she understood the charge, but denied it.
She is represented by five lawyers from the legal aid clinic for women, and another lawyer Barnabas Bwalya from Kaswata and Company.
Benos, 38, of Ibex Hill, is accused of murdering Mr Malambo after a fight between January 7 and 13, 2017.
Prior to her committal to the High court, Benos applied for a preliminary inquiry in which she accused Mr Malambo, 48, of wanting to decapitate her.
In the application filed, Benos said on January 29, 2017, Mr Malambo allegedly locked her up in the bedroom where he attempted to decapitate her using a knife he got from the pantry.
Judge Chawatama set September 11, 2017, as date for commencement of trial.