By CHARLES MUSONDA
LUSAKA lawyer Nchima Nchito yesterday pleaded not guilty to the fresh charge of personating as a Post Newspapers Limited (in liquidation) lawyer, contrary to Section 378 (2) of the Penal Code Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia.
This was after private prosecutor Kelvin Bwalya substituted the initial indictment before Magistrate Greenwell Malumani.
Particulars of the offence are that between November 1, 2016, and February 13, 2017, Nchito, with intent to defraud, filed court process in cause number 2017/HPC/0059, thereby falsely representing himself as an advocate genuinely appointed by the Post Newspapers Limited, a company in liquidation.
Trial could not commence as Mr. Bwalya was unwell and the matter has been adjourned to June 13, 2017.
Last February, controversy erupted when the court heard that the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) had appointed former Solicitor General Musa Mwenye and another lawyer from Messrs Nchito Nchito to represent the accused person.
The association’s decision stirred an uproar among lawyers some of whom called for the resignation of the Linda Kasonde-led LAZ executive for allegedly turning the association into a family business and others proposed creation of a parallel law body.
Initial private prosecutor Robson Malipenga said the prosecution was not denying Nchito his right to legal representation and that the prosecution would be glad if he chose his own lawyers to represent him and not the ones appointed by LAZ.
“LAZ is a body corporate and can’t appoint lawyers to represent the accused person. In that regard we apply that the three advocates appointed by LAZ should not represent the accused person,” Mr. Malipenga said.
Nchito is a brother of LAZ honorary secretary Sashi Nchito Kateka who is representing Mutinta Buumba Mazoka, wife of Post Newspapers Limited (in liquidation) proprietor Fred M’membe, in two cases she has been charged for contempt of court and obstructing police officers on duty.