ZICTA expert remanded

An expert analyst from the Zambia Information Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) was yesterday sent to remand for failing to answer questions in the Lusaka Magistrate Court.

The forensic expert LovemoreCheelo was presented to court as witness by the state prosecution team in a corruption case involving Lusaka lawyer Keith Mweemba.

Magistrate Mwale remanded Cheelo for refusing to answer questions put forward to him by defence lawyers Makebi Zulu, Gilbert Phiri, a Mr. Jonazi and a Mr. Lungu.

This is in a matter in which the state has charged Mweemba with attempting to corrupt a public officer from the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) with a bribe when he represented clients for drug offences.

Cheelo whom the prosecution led by Macqueen Zaza of the ACC had been presented as an expert witness who analysed a recording on an I Phone was ordered by Magistrate Mwale earlier in the morning to bring to court in the afternoon his NIPA certification after he had told the court that he studied Information Technology from the institution.

However when court resumed in the afternoon Cheelo also failed to produce certificates to confirm that he had studied Information Technology at National Institute for Public Administration (NIPA) and could not give satisfactory answers as to why he could not produce the documents.

When asked by lawyers representing Mweemba as to why he did not bring the documents, Cheelo refused to answer and when asked also whether ZICTA director general Margaret ChalweMudenda stopped him from producing the documents, Cheelo again refused to answer.

He also refused to answer three more questions and this prompted the defence team to apply to have Cheelo remanded in custody after citing article 1550 of the Criminal Procedure code.

However, the prosecution team tried to seek an adjournment to seek the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) intervention, the defence objected saying the punishment was supposed to be meted there and then. Magistrate Mwale then decided to remand Cheelo until today.

The defence had asked for 8 days sentence but the magistrates decided to remand Cheelo for one night because the matter was coming up in court today.

Cheelo is the same witness who testified in the case involving former Evelyn Hone College lecturer ClaysonHamasaka who is charged with possession of obscene material.

Meanwhile Lusaka based Freelance Journalist Thomas Zgambo yesterday morning appeared in the Lusaka Magistrate Court charged with possession of obscene material.

Zgambo could however not take plea because Magistrate Mikalile who the case was allocated to declared interest as she is presiding over a civil matter in which Zgambo has sued ZESCO Limited. Zgambo will appear on Friday 15/11/11 before Magistrate LameckN’gambi.