Second Republican president Frederick Chiluba’s administrative assistant, Emmanuel Mwamba was yesterday arrested and detained in connection with anonymous articles that appeared on the web-based publication, the Zambian Watchdog.
Mwamba is expected to appear in court today at 10 hours in Lusaka.
The Times of Zambia reports that Mr Mwamba went to Zambia Police Service headquarters in Lusaka yesterday at about 09:30 hours accompanied by his lawyer, John Sangwa and was questioned for about 45 minutes before he was taken to Woodlands police station.
His lawyer spoke with the police at Woodlands police reception for about 20 minutes and he resisted police orders to have him locked up because he wanted to meet with court officials for a court appearance.
Mr Mwamba remained in the custody of the police within the reception area while Mr Sangwa made contacts with the court officials.
Mr Sangwa told journalists before he drove off that the matter would depend on what was going to happen in the chambers but did not have further details.
At about 15:00 hours, Mr Mwamba appeared before Judge Gregory Phiri but the case was heard in chambers at the Supreme Court buildings.
The two parties, the State and the defence, were arguing about how the matter should proceed.
Hearing takes place at 10:00 hours today to determine what course the matter should take and Mr Mwamba was remanded in custody.
Mr Justice Phiri last week ordered for the arrest and appearance in court of the author and publisher of two alleged anonymous contemptuous articles on the Zambian Watchdog in the going trial for the murder of Lusaka businessman, Sajid Itowala.
Mohan’s lawyer, Bonaventure Mutale had applied that the analyses were prejudicial to the proceedings in court and pleaded with Mr Phiri that the author and publisher be cited for contempt.
Mr Mutale submitted that the blog-based articles, published on October 22 and November 2, 2010, were not only a serious onslaught on the judiciary but on the administration of justice in the country.
The first article was titled “The plot thickens” and the second one was titled “Mathew Mohan: Has his testimony done anything to the judiciary?”
This is in a case in which Inktech managing director, Mathew Mohan and his two co-accused, Idris and Shabir Patel have been charged with the murder of Cyclone Hardware director, Sajid Itowala.
Earlier last week, The Post managing editor, Amos Malupenga in his letter copied to Justice Phiri and the Inspector General of Police (IG) Francis Kabonde challenged Mwamba to deny that he was the author of the said documents published on the Internet and were allegedly against The Post and other people.
In the letter of November 2, 2010, Malupenga accused Mwamba of engaging himself in activities that alienated The Post and claimed that the documents put his newspaper at odds with the judiciary.
In his letter, Malupenga stated that The Post wished to put on record its displeasure at the manner in which Mwamba allegedly maligned and cast aspersions against The Post by writing various anonymous articles, which Mwamba allegedly circulated on the internet via e-mail and some web-based publications such as the Zambian Watchdog.
Malupenga alleged that Mwamba, in his usual style of hiding behind anonymity, published a document called ‘Mathew Mohan: Has his Testimony damaged the Judiciary?’ and was published on the Zambian Watchdog tilted as “Powerful Forces and Corruption in Mohan’s murder Trial”