Twenty-four kilograms of drugs went missing at the Magistrates Court with a number of court officials implicated in the scam.
The witness identified as Charles Nkuwa was jointly charged with the accused persons but was later turned into a state witness after the state entered a nolle prosequi against him.
Defence lawyers put the witness to the sword questioning the veracity of the his evidence-in-chief saying he had previously told his lawyer that he was innocent and knew nothing about the case, yet he managed to testify that he was selling the drugs on behalf of the accused during cross examination .
Nkuwa told the court that he was no longer a drug dealer as he had now reformed.
This was after defence counsel Keith Mweemba wondered whether the witness would reform, noting that he was once convicted for similar charges of drug tracking before the current case.
In this matter, businessmen, Eric Chipango, Emmanuel Chimba and court officials; Emmanuel Chirwa, Bearvan Mengo, Mathews Mukanda, Victor Nzaila, Florence Mushoka, O’Brian Muyunda and Didie Kangwa, a senior clerk of court, have been charged with one count of trafficking in 80.11 grams of cocaine without lawful authority and another count of trafficking in 1 Kg of cocaine without lawful authority.
Chimba, a businessman and Chirwa a court interpreter are facing another count of trafficking in 1.5 grams of cocaine without lawful authority.
Chirwa has also been slapped with one more count of trafficking in 4.5 grams of cocaine without lawful authority and another count of theft by servant where he’s alleged to have stolen 4.5 grams of cocaine, the property of the government of Zambia.
Meanwhile, all seven court officials have been charged with one count of theft by servant where they are alleged to have stolen 24 kilograms of cocaine between August 4, 2017 and August 9, 2018, the property of the government of Zambia.
When the matter came up before a Siavonga based Magistrate Victoria Chitulangoma sitting in Lusaka for continued cross examination, the magistrate warned the defence and State to avoid raising unnecessary applications which would delay the matter.