Lawyer faces forgery charge – as he is accused of forging dead man's Will

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CHARLES MUSONDA writes

LUSAKA lawyer Nathaniel Nawa Inambao has again pleaded not guilty to one count of forgery in which it is alleged that he and his co-accused forged a dead man’s Will.

This was when Inambao, of ICN Legal Practitioners, and Chibonga Mubanga took fresh plea on Tuesday after the case was reallocated to Lusaka Magistrate Judith Chiyayika from Lusaka Principal Resident Magistrate David Simusamba.

The two initially denied the charge in March this year before Mr. Simusamba after which trial was set for April 10 and 11, 2019 but the case never took off due to the accused persons’ absence on about three occasions until the matter was reallocated to Ms. Chiyayika.

After the duo took fresh plea on Tuesday this week, public prosecutor John Banda informed the court that the State was ready to proceed with three prosecution witnesses who were readily available before court but defence lawyer Charles Changano applied for an adjournment on grounds that the case needs to be heard on two dates.

Mr. Changano said he had already agreed with a female public prosecutor to adjourn the matter to next month but Mr. Banda said the was not aware of the agreement as the defence lawyer had not informed him on his intention to adjourn the matter before the court sat and only said this in court.

Ms. Chiyayika however allowed the application for an adjournment to July 15 and 16, 2019.

Particulars of offence in the first count are that between January 26, 2018 and June 30, 2018 in Lusaka, with intent to defraud or deceive, the two jointly and whilst acting together allegedly forged a Will by purporting to show that it was genuinely issued and signed by Donald Chimfwembe, the deceased, when in fact not.

In the second count, Mubanga, who at the time of their arrest was a legal assistant, is charged alone for allegedly uttering the forged Will.

Particulars of offence are that between the same dates in Lusaka, Mubanga jointly and whilst acting together with others unknown, allegedly knowingly and fraudulently uttered the same forged Will for the late Donald Chimfwembe to Mutale Chimfwembe, the deceased’s relative.

The late Mr. Chimfwembe, who was an accountant at the University of Zambia, died in January last year and before his death, he and his first wife Beauty Kafwimbi divorced by mutual consent in the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court on September 12, 2014.

He later remarried a woman identified as Clara Musonda who is indicated in the Will as executor of the disputed document.

After his death, it emerged that he had left behind the Will prepared by ICN Legal Practitioners but his children and his first wife’s relatives raised concerns on its contents and later observed that the signature on the Will was not the late Mr. Chimfwembe’s.

The matter was then reported to the police where a handwriting expert Thomas Phiri conducted a thorough examination and observed that the disputed signature did not match the random specimen signature samples of the late Mr. Chimfwembe.

“From the dissimilarities I observed I am able to attest in the court of law to the effect that Donald Chimfwembe never appended his signature in the document in question. The disputed signature is a simulated forgery,” Mr. Phiri said in his findings.

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