Lusambo shuts out journalists from covering graft case at premises

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FORMER Lusaka province minister Bowman Lusambo yesterday barred the media from attending a court session which was held at one of his premises housing six incomplete flats in Chamba Valley.

Yesterday, Lusaka chief resident magistrate Davies Chibwili moved to one of Lusambo’s establishments suspected to be a product of grand corruption for a site visit and cross examination of a State witness.

However media personnel including those from the Anti-graft body could not attend the cross examination as they were stopped from entering the yard by Lusambo’s ruffians who were dotted on the road leading to the property in question which is 20 metres from Chalo Trust school.

Despite explaining to the cadres that the court was having a brief session from the said premises Lusambo’s henchmen indicated that there were stringent instructions not to allow the media gain access to the property.

His personal assistant who prodded the conduct by Lusambo’s boys claimed that before the media could arrive at the premises Lawyer Makebi Zulu had made an application that the media should not be present during the site visit and the court granted the request.

Reporters and the ACC media team who harbored suspicion about the false application preventing them from covering the Court proceedings gave no attention to Lusambo’s assistant and cadres as they went past them to avoid disrupting the proceedings.

Immediately they reached the yard one of Lusambo’s boys locked up the gate claiming he was acting under instructions from his boss not to allow the press in.

Media personnel ended up missing the brief session which was held at the site.

Upon inquiring from Court officials on whether an application was made to stop them from attending the Court proceedings at Lusambo’s incomplete flats the Court officials denied.

“There was no such application that was made. The Court did not grant any request to stop the media from attending the proceedings that is false,” said one of the Court officials.

“The witness has been cross examined from the scene and the matter has been adjourned to March.”

Earlier in Court Kapasa Mukonge a civil engineer informed the Economic and Financial Crimes Court that he was approached by Lusambo for the purchase of property at plot F/609/E/50 where he resides.

“I declined the offer of purchase and then he requested that I lease the land to him. We entered into a lease agreement and he signed the lease agreement for a piece of land which was 1, 800 square metres on October 1, 2018,”Kapasa said.

He said the land was leased to the former Lusaka province minister for five years and he built 6 flats.

Following the examination in chief , the State made an application for the Court to move to the site.

In this case Lusambo is charged with two counts of possessing property suspected to be proceeds of crime.

Trial continues on March 27.

By Mwaka Ndawa

Kalemba February 1, 2024.

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