|Former president Frederick Chiluba's wife Regina arriving at the
Supreme Court in Lusaka on August 30, 2010—The
The Lusaka High Court has deferred to
October 1, 2010 judgment in a case involving former president Fredrick Chiluba's
And judgment in a case where convicted former lands minister
Reverend Gladys Nyirongo is challenging the four-year sentence slapped on her by
the magistrates' court after she was found guilty of abuse of authority of
office has been adjourned to September 10, 2010.
High Court judge Evans
Hamaundu sitting with justice Eddie Sikazwe adjourned the matter on ground that
it was not yet ready.
When the matter came up for judgment, the two
judges told a packed court room that the judgment was not ready and proposed
that they agree on fresh dates.
The state was not before court and judge
Hamaundu wondered where they were.
Defence counsel Robert Simeza then
told the court that there was no official communication from the state but that
his interaction with colleagues from the state chambers gave an impression that
they may be having a seminar in Livingstone.
Simeza explained that based
on that, he assumed the advocates from the Attorney General's chambers were
attending a seminar hence their absence in court.
Chief Justice Ernest
Sakala last year directed that appeals in corruption cases involving Regina and
Nyirongo should be heard by a panel of three judges.
Regina appealed to
the High Court against her three-year conviction by the Lusaka magistrates'
Chief resident magistrate Charles Kafunda jailed Regina for three
years and six months after finding her guilty on five counts of receiving
property believed to be stolen.
Earlier, she was facing six counts of
receiving property suspected to have been stolen but was acquitted on count four
relating to a motor vehicle.
In acquitting Regina, magistrate Kafunda
said the prosecution had failed to establish beyond all reasonable doubt that
the said motor vehicle was stolen or unlawfully obtained.
the offence were that on a date unknown but between January 1997 and September
30, 2002 in Ndola, Regina failed to account for possession of property on stand
number NDO/14 purchased at US $80,000 which was reasonably suspected to have
been stolen or unlawfully obtained.
She was on the second count alleged
to have failed to account for possession of property known as stand number
KIT/643 purchased at US $48,000 cash, money reasonably suspected of having been
stolen or unlawfully obtained.
Regina was on the third count alleged to
have on a date unknown but between January 1997 and September 30, 2002 in Ndola
failed to account for possession of property on stand number KIT/645 purchased
at US $60,000 cash.
She was on the fourth count alleged to have failed to
account for possession of a motor vehicle Isuzu KB registration number AAT 2603
suspected to have been stolen or unlawfully obtained.
Regina was on the
fifth count alleged to have, on unknown dates, but between January 1997 and
September 30, 2002 in Ndola received from Frederick Chiluba one Toshiba 61-inch
colour television set, serial number 69140018, model No PJ 98 B knowing or
having reason to believe that the same had been feloniously stolen or
On the sixth count, it was alleged that on a date unknown but
between January 1997 and September 30, 2002 in Ndola, she failed to account for
possession of K474,000,000 cash, which was reasonably suspected of having been
stolen or unlawfully obtained.
Magistrate Kafunda sentenced Regina to two
years six months simple imprisonment on each count saying they were misdemeanors
and three years six months on count five saying it was a
Magistrate Kafunda explained that the sentences would run
concurrently meaning Regina would be imprisoned for three years six months.
Regina was later granted bail worth K30 million with two working
And in a case where Nyirongo is challenging her conviction,
Judge Albert Wood told said he was adjourning the matter to a later date because
the judgment was not ready as one of the judges handling the matter was busy
with the election petition for Mufumbwe constituency.
On February 13,
2009, principal resident magistrate Sharon Kaunda Newa jailed Rev Nyirongo for
four years after finding her guilty on charges of abuse of authority of office.
On the first count, magistrate Newa sentenced Rev Nyirongo to 24 months
imprisonment while on the second count, she jailed her 48 months. The sentences
were to run concurrently meaning she would have served four years. Later, Rev
Nyirongo applied for bail, which she was granted worth K60 million with two
working sureties pending her appeal.
In the event that she lost her
appeal, she would still serve four years. She appealed to the High Court against
the four-year jail sentence, contending that the court erred in law and fact
when it convicted her on the sole evidence of Daisy Mulenga whose evidence she
said was uncollaborated and contradictory.