:: Zambia Daily Mail – 5 Judicial workers plead not guilty ::

5 Judicial workers plead not guilty

April 28, 2007

FIVE Judicial workers alleged to have stolen K250 million public funds yesterday pleaded not guilty before the Lusaka Magistrates Court.

Before Resident Magistrate Sharon Newa were Josephine Banda-Mutale, Beatrice Zulu, Peter Banda, Lawrence Chanda and Kutemba Makayi.

They pleaded not guilty to the charge of theft by public servant contrary to section 272 and 277 of the Penal Code, Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia.

It is alleged that Banda-Mutale and others between January 1, 2004 and June 30, 2006, being public servants, did steal K251, 688,850, from Government.

The matter comes up on May 23, for mention and fixing of trial dates.

Meanwhile, acting executive director of the Zambia Deaf Vision Frank Musukwa yesterday staged a one-man protest at the Supreme Court building in Lusaka.

Mr Musukwa who is also deaf, demanded to see Chief Justice Ernest Sakala in connection with the continued holding without trial of a deaf person, a Mr Emmanuel Banda.

Mr Musukwa, who spoke to journalists through notes, explained that Mr Banda was arrested last year with his brother-in-law for the alleged murder of his sister.

He said his brother-in-law was however, released but Mr Banda has been in custody without trial due to lack of a sign language interpreter in the judiciary.

Mr Musukwa said he was protesting and wanted to seek an audience with the Chief Justice.

He said the judiciary should pay special attention to cases of people such as the deaf because a case could not go for months without trial.

Mr Musukwa said such situations were a violation of the human rights of people who are deaf.

He was however, advised to write to the Chief Justice.

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