OLIVER SAMBOKO Writes
LUSAKA Chief Resident Magistrate Lameck Mwale yesterday warned an arresting officer in a case G&G Nationwide Zambia Limited director Christopher Banda has been charged with alleged forgery, uttering a false document and obtaining pecuniary advantage.
When the case came up for continued trial yesterday, the arresting officer Elias Banda was not before court after which public prosecutor a Mr. Simukoko told Mr. Mwale that Mr. Banda was earlier in court but had been called back to Zambia Police headquarters.
This upset Mr. Mwale who observed that last time Mr. Banda was warned and that his action yesterday showed his lack of seriousness and disrespect for court proceedings because he knew that he is the last prosecution witness.
He then ordered Mr. Simukoko to contact Mr. Banda and the case was stood down. Upon resumption of the matter, Mr. Banda appeared in court and Mr. Mwale warned him over his conduct.
“You are here because you have been summoned and the last time you were warned. This means that whatever you had gone to do is more important than court proceedings,” Mr. Mwale said after which Mr. Banda apologized. The case could not proceed because of time.
Earlier, a witness from the National Council Construction (NCC) had testified that the NCC never concluded that G&G Nationwide Zambia Limited had a forged construction certificate.
Moses Daka, a registration officer at NCC, said this in the matter relating to construction works on the Mansa-Luwing road where China Henan had subcontracted G&G.
China Henan and G&G entered into the construction contract and by clause 8 of the said contract, they agreed that any dispute that would arise would be settled by arbitration following good faith negotiations.
Sometime in July 2015 a dispute arose which resulted in the appointment of an arbitrator by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Zambia Branch) following a request by G&G.
At arbitration, G&G won the matter but China Henan later applied to the High Court to set aside arbitral awards awarded to G&G.
However, the High Court dismissed China Henan’s application to set aside the awards and discharged the stay of execution of the awards and arbitral proceedings.
Dissatisfied with the High Court ruling, China Henan appealed to the Supreme Court where Judges Albert Wood, Nigel Mutuna, and Mumba Malila on March 7, 2017 upheld the High Court’s decision not to be a misdirection when it held that China Henan’s application to set aside the arbitral awards awarded to G&G was misconceived.
However, in 2018 China Henan reported Mr. Banda (the accused person) to police on allegations that he used a forged NCC certificate for G&G to win the tender on the Mansa- Luwingu road project, resulting in yesterday’s proceedings before Mr. Mwale.