Lawyers representing former President Rupiah Banda have protested the continued failure of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to give instruction of the charge in connection with the concealment of gratification involving nine trucks valued at K 471 million.
Lawyer Eric Silwamba said the state removed the immunity of Mr Banda after telling Parliament that investigations had been concluded to enable court proceedings in the matter.
The matter was due to commence with the trial yesterday but state prosecutor Dennis Simwinga applied for an extension as the DPP had not yet given the instructions. Magistrate Obister Musukwa heard that the DPP had not yet issued instructions for commencement of trial and requested for 20 day period of adjournment to allow for the same.”The DPP has not yet issued instructions to proceed with trial but the instructions are that we proceed for another mention possibly 20 days from now,” he said.But Mr Silwamba said the 20 days period was too long considering that when the Banda was arrested, the government told the Zambian people that they had concluded their investigations and were ready to prosecute the former leader.
“Our concern is the delay in issuing relevant instructions, your honor, before our client was arrested there were issues of removing his immunity. The state had said that time that they had concluded their investigations and what remained was prosecution. We therefore can’t understand the difficult in issuing the instructions and we find the period of 20 days requested by the state to be too long,” said Silwamba.
However magistrate Musukwa agreed with the state and set July 30 as the date for possible mention.