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HomeCourt NewsACC CHARGES AGAINST MPOHA DOG’S BREAKFAST, SAYS SAKI

ACC CHARGES AGAINST MPOHA DOG’S BREAKFAST, SAYS SAKI

By LUCY PHIRI

SAKWIBA Sikota SC, has described as ‘‘dog’s breakfast’’ the seven more indictments the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has laid against Clever Mpoha, the Savenda Group of Companies chairman and Eagle Trading International Limited.  

And former Ministry of Defence Permanent Secretary Stardy Mwale has asked the court to be charged separately from Mpoha, and quash count three on grounds that it is separated from his first count.

Mr Sikota, lawyer for Mpoha and Eagle Trading International Limited has likened the new indictment brought by the ACC in the case of Mwale and Eagle Trading to be a ‘‘dog’s breakfast.

In this matter, Mwale, 51, is facing charges of corrupt practices by a public officer involving $200, 000 while Mpoha and Eagle Trading International Limited are facing counts of corrupt practices contrary to section 20 (2) as read together with section 41 of the Anti-Corruption Act No. 3 of 2012.

When the matter came up yesterday for plea, the accused persons could not take plea because the defence team composed of Mr Sikota, Moses Chitambala, Abraham Mwansa among others raised preliminary issues concerning their clients and that Mwale should be charged separately.

Mr Sikota submitted that he had seven preliminary issues to raise, arguing that the indictment brought before the court by the ACC was similar to a dog’s breakfast.

There was a gasp in the court after Mr Sikota termed the added charges against Mr Mpoha as dog’s breakfast, prompting the Lusaka prominent lawyer to explain that the new charges were but an unappealing mixture, disorderly and a mess. 

He then said the defence would be raising seven preliminary issues to prove that the indictment was without doubt a ‘dog’s breakfast.’

Mr Sikota outlined the seven preliminary issues and said his legal team members would give the ingredients of the new charges referred to as a dog’s breakfast.

He  argued the first preliminary issue related to the jurisdiction of the ACC prosecutors to prosecute the matter without the express direction of the DPP and the authority of the Commissioner General at the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA).

In the submissions, Mr Sikota stated the defence would argue that Sections 86 of the CPC sub section 1 to 3 and section 6(1) of the ACC Act required express authority, which authority was not granted to prosecutors to prosecute the case.

In the seven preliminary arguments, the defence has raised out several matters which were argued upon commencing of trial in the case. 

Earlier, Mr Mwansa SC representing Mwale also raised preliminary issues regarding the charges against his client. 

Mr Mwansa pointed out that his client was not supposed to be subjected to being in court on a case, regarding taxes of either Clever Mpoha or Eagle Trading International, to which he had absolutely no connection.

Mr Mwansa also argued it would be embarrassing for the same matter which was a subject of an application by ACC in the High Court for forfeiture of the farm in Chinkata to also be a charge before the Magistrates Court. 

Mr Mwansa argued that it was embarrassing that there was no connection between counts 1, 2, 3 and the rest of the counts from four to nine.

He further argued that his client should be separately charged and the charge in count three to be quashed because count three is separated from count one and two.

“What will be the first accused to be doing during trial to sit and be listening it could be embarrassing, count three is separated from count one and two so that he may be tried separately, given the fact that this matter is before a superior court, may this count be totally quashed, count four to nine maybe tried separately as the first accused is not connecting to any allegations made under count four to nine,’’ Mr Mwansa submitted.

Mr Mwale also argued that his client was never cautioned and arrested, and that the third account was never given consent from DPP as it was newly added.

The court adjourned the matter to January 20, 2023 for preliminaries.

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