Mongu Magistrate accuses lawyer of leaking information to Watchdog

A visibly emotionally charged Mongu Resident Magistrate Julius Malata on Tuesday April,02,2014 accused a defense counsel of leaking some information to the Zambian Watchdog. This is in a matter in which the Bank of Zambia (BOZ) has dragged Mr. Simon Mtonga a driver of the Bank of Zambia for alleged theft of 50 litres of Diesel.

Meanwhile, it has emerged in court that Bank of Zambia Deputy Governor for Administration Dr. Mabula Kankasa approved payment for the 5o litres in question. This came to light when Mtonga’s witness Mr. Vincent Linyama an Assistant Transport Manager at the Central Bank was being cross examined by a public prosecutor.

On alleged leaking of information to the Zambian Watchdog, Magistrate Malata made the accusations when defense counsel said he was closing his defense though involuntary because the court had refused on two occasions to subpoena Ms. Mabula Kakansa who had approved payment of the 50 litres in question according to court document.

According to the document produced in court, Mr. Linyama prepared a Memorandum for payment to Total Filling station. The Memorandum addressed to Assistant Director Procurement was later referred  to Director Procurement before it reached Ms. Mabula Kankasa who approved payment.

It is for this reason that the accused wanted Ms. Kankasa to be subpoenad by the court so that she testifies on why she approved payment for the fifty litres if there was a query. Magistrate Malata through reported pressure from Bank of Zambia officials refused to subpoena Ms. Kankasa.

It is this denial by the Magistrate to subpoena Kankasa that made the defense counsel to state that he was closing the defense involuntary. The statement from the defense counsel however annoyed Magistrate Malata who said “Sit down. And let me say this. I do not want to read this on the Zambian Watchdog. It is not good for either the state or defense to be leaking information to the Zambian Watchdog,”. What Magistrate Malata did not however know is that the Zambian Watchdog reporter was actually in court looking straight at him when he was accusing an innocent lawyer for alleged leaking information to the Zambian Watchdog.

Meanwhile, information has emerged that Mr. Mayeke Njunju from the Bank of Zambia who has alleged prevailed over the Magistrate not to Subpoena Ms. Kankasa is a former intake mate of the Magistrate at Lilayi Police Training College.

Mr. Njunju who is reported to be the right hand man to Ms. Kankasa a lawyer herself, was a Police Officer before he joined the BOZ security department. Magistrate Malata was also a Police officer under prosecutions before he went to the University of Zambia were he studies law and later became a Magistrate. A source outside the court who has been following the proceedings of the case said the case may end up a mistrial.

“This case may end up being a mistrial or the High court may recall the file. There is indisputable evidence that Ms. Kankasa approved the payment. So why deny the accused a fair trial by not bringing Ms. Kankasa to court to testify,” the source asked.

Judgement has been set for June,23,2014 while the state will file in written submission by May 5,2014 and the defense will file written submissions by June,5,2014.

And the Zambian Watchdog is investigating reports that 10 computers from the Bank of Zambia have gone missing despite the heavy security gadgets around the Central Bank.

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