A LUSAKA Magistrate’s Court has acquitted Foreign Affairs deputy Minister Gabriel Namulambe in a case in which he was charged with theft of 20 bicycles valued at K11,000.
It was alleged that Mr Namulambe on November 21, 2010 in Kitwe as deputy minister in the Ministry of Mines then, stole 20 bicycles valued at K11,000.
In his ruling yesterday, Magistrate Wilfred Muma said the prosecution had failed to prove that the bicycles were stolen and belonged to small-scale miners.
“The essential ingredients of knowledge or reasonable ground for belief that the bicycles were meant for small-scale miners has not at all been proved. I rule that the accused has no case to answer and I accordingly dismiss the charge, acquit the accused and set him at liberty forth with,” he said.
Mr Muma said Mr Namulambe stated that he was given the bicycles by the then Mines minister Maxwell Mwale for personal use and asked him to use the same truck that was going to Kitwe to deliver the other bicycles to Mpongwe.
He said this statement was in tandem with the circumstances of the case where the accused subsequently gave two bicycles openly believing that there were his property.
In an interview after the ruling, Mr Namulambe said he had gone through a lot of trauma during the whole process and expressed happiness at the outcome of the ruling.
Meanwhile in another case, former Petauke Central Member of Parliament (MP) Dora Siliya has asked the Supreme Court not to stay the execution of the High Court’s decision to allow her and two others to file their nominations on grounds that the appeal by the State has no legal interest in the proceedings.
Ms Siliya said the State was not granted any relief sought in the lower court and no adverse decision was ordered against it.
This has rendered the appeal in the Supreme Court incompetent as it was not anchored on any ground that could be sustained.
This is in a matter in which Ms Siliya, Maxwell Mwale for Malambo and Hastings Sililo for Mulobezi had applied for judicial review following the decision by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to bar them from filing their nominations.