THE Nakonde magistrate’s court has warned that it will not allow the absence of the defence lawyer in a case in which a former Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) employee and three others are appearing to derail progress of the matter.
This is a case in which George Siame, Patrick Siwale and Nason Silwamba are in the first count charged with theft by agent.
Particulars of the offence are that between September, 2012 and November 26, 2012 in Nakonde the trio being executive members of the Nakonde Farmers Association jointly and
whilst acting together with Danny Silavwe allegedly stole K1, 690,228,480.
This amount was entrusted to them by the association as down payment to purchase fertiliser for the 2012-2013 farming season.
In the second count, Silavwe is charged with theft by servant, contrary to the Penal Code of the Laws of Zambia.
Particulars are that Silavwe between September, 2012 and November 26, the same year in Nakonde District, being ZNFU credit and marketing facilitator jointly and whilst acting together with Siame, Siwale and Silwamba allegedly stole K1, 690,228,480 which came into his possession by virtue of their employment.
In the third count, Siame is charged with the offence of being in possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime.
It is alleged that on July 6, this year, in Nakonde District, Siame had in his possession soya beans worth K51, 067 which was supplied to Shiwang’andu Estates property suspected to be proceeds of crime.
On Monday, the quartet appeared for trial, but the matter could not take off because the defence lawyer was not present.
Mr Phiri informed the court that he had received a notice of adjournment from the defence lawyer, saying that he would not be available because of the High Court session he was attending in Lusaka.
It was at that point that the public prosecutor sought the court’s indulgence because the State was ready to proceed.
In his ruling, Mr Njapau cautioned the four State witnesses Paul Chilambwe, Kayula Mwaka, Hendricks Kabwe and Janet Banda not to wait to be summoned but that they must appear before court.