By CHARLES MUSONDA
LAWYERS representing Infrastructure and Housing Development Minister Ronald Chitotela and three others have protested against the slow pace at which the prosecution is calling witnesses.
This is in a case Chitotela is with Gregory Chibanga, Brut Holdings Limited (where Chibanga is director), and Diris Mukange for allegedly concealing property suspected to be proceeds of crime.
In count one particulars of offences are that the four accused persons concealed lot number 148 of farm number 50A in Makeni South and the remaining extent of subdivision 22183 in Ibex Hill, Lusaka, and disguised them in Mukange’s name.
The lawyers, led by Noel Simwanza, made the protest yesterday after three witnesses gave their short evidence each on the registration of Brut Holdings Limited with the Patents and Company Registration Agency (PACRA), National Council for Construction (NCC), and the Consulting Engineers Association of Zambia (CEAZ).
Mr. Simwanza said it was unfair for the State to bring witnesses in piecemeal and that the defence had hoped the prosecution would bring more witnesses for the case to move and that it was costly on his part as he has to travel from Kitwe each time the case comes up.
Another defence lawyer Jonas Zimba said it was unfortunate that the prosecutors had not yet disclosed the remaining number of witnesses they had lined up.
Two other lawyers James Mataliro and Mlambo Haimbe added their voices to the defence’s displeasure.
But Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) prosecutor Boniface Chiwala told the court that there are eight more witnesses and that there is no law which compels the prosecution to indicate the number of witnesses they would call.
And CEAZ chief executive officer Chituwa Chulu said Brut Holdings Limited is not registered with her association.