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Lawyer's forgery case unfolds

CHARLES MUSONDA writes

@SunZambian

A WITNESS has testified that the signature purported to be that of her late father on his Will is not the one.

The witness Mutale Chimfwembe, 25, said this on Monday before Lusaka Magistrate Judith Chiyayika in a case Lusaka lawyer, Nathaniel Inambao, and a former legal assistant, Mubanga Chibonga, have been charged for allegedly forging a Will in the name of her late father Donald Chimfwembe.

Ms. Chimfwembe said she was not personally satisfied with distribution of benefits in the Will when Inambao read it to her family, a month after her father’s death.

Before his death, the late Mr. Chimfwembe, who was working as an accountant at the University of Zambia (UNZA), divorced with his first wife Beauty Kafwimbi in 2014 through mutual consent, and remarried another woman whose child from her previous relationship was included in the Will prepared at Inambao’s law firm, ICN Legal Practitioners.

“There was inclusion of my stepmother’s biological child who was not dad’s child and was not adopted by dad,” Ms. Chimfwembe said.

She said after reading the Will, Inambao advised the family that they could still contest it if they were not satisfied with its contents.

“When I looked at the signature on the last page it looked like dad’s signature but it was not his signature. Dad’s writings were always in capital letters but this was in small letters. The signature on the Will looked like it was over pressed and that was not how he used to write. The signature was totally different from the ones on his documents that were in the house,” Ms, Chimfwembe said.

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, Inambao and Chibonga allegedly jointly and whilst acting together forged the Will by purporting to show that it was genuinely issued and signed by the late Mr. Chimfwembe 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.

Ms. Chimfwembe said she shared a close relationship with her late father who confided in her his plans and decisions and that there was no way he could come up with a Will that would leave out his biological children.

She said after seeking legal advice, the family reported a criminal matter to the police who asked them to provide her late father’s signature samples from the divorce consent judgment he signed with her mother, an application for early retirement he wrote to UNZA and other documents.

She said Inambao later told them that he was not present at the signing of the Will. She added that there was no proper identification of a Moses Tembo who signed as one of the witnesses on the document.

“We have no information about him and we have never met him. Mr. Mubanga Chibonga told us that he could not locate Mr. Tembo. The house number indicated as that of Mr. Tembo belongs to someone else,” Ms. Chimfwembe said. Trial continues on July 30, 2019.

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