Cough halts court case – as prosecutor’s rapid coughing leads to adjournment

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CHARLES MUSONDA writes

THE case of alleged corruption involving former Zambia Meteorological Department (ZMD) director Jacob Nkomoki and three others was prematurely adjourned yesterday after a public prosecutor handling the matter developed a sudden and rapid cough.

In this case, Nkomoki is jointly charged with Joseph Kanyanga, Overseas Mwangase, and Mukufute Mukelebai with two counts of corrupt practices and abuse of authority of office.

In count one, it alleged that between July 1, 2014 and November 1, 2015 in Lusaka, the four being public officers namely as directors and senior officers at ZMD, corruptly solicited for 12,459 Euros each.

It is alleged that the money was for gratification from GBMS as an inducement or reward for them to sign completion statements for the works that were awarded to GBMS based on contract number BMZID 2011997672.

In count two, they are alleged to have abused their authority in the manner they signed a Memorandum of Understanding with GBMS.

As a witness Ngosa Howard Mpamba was testifying, the female prosecutor, who was in a face mask following strict COVID-19 preventive measures introduced at the court premises, developed a sudden and rapid cough which she tried to control but could not manage to hold on.

She was forced to go outside where she continued coughing even more rapidly after which Lusaka Chief Resident Magistrate Lameck Mwale stood down the matter for some minutes.

When the sitting resumed, another public prosecutor Sipholiano Phiri put it on record that the prosecutor seized with conduct of the matter was unwell and sought an adjournment, which the court granted.

The case comes up on June 13 and 19, 2020.

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