LUSAKA High Court acting registrar David Simusamba has insisted that National Democratic Congress (NDC) president Chishimba Kambwili contacted him on many occasions through one of his defence lawyers, seeking an acquittal and offered him money.
In his defence filed in court, magistrate Simusamba also accused Mr Kambwili of promising to buy him a motor vehicle as an appreciation for an acquittal.
He stated that he turned down both offers by Mr Kambwili.
In this case, Kambwili and two lawyers – Christopher Mundia and Mwiinga Cheelo – sued magistrate Simusamba for defamation of character for alleging that the plaintiffs attempted to bribe him in order to deliver judgment in favour of the opposition leader in a case he was charged with forgery, uttering a false document and giving false information to a public officer.
But Magistrate Simusamba, in his defence, stated that the plaintiffs are not entitled to any of the reliefs they are claiming and submitted that he would at trial rely on the defence(s) of absolute and/or qualified privilege regarding his communication to the Chief Justice.
In his defence, Simusamba stated that it was true that Cheelo and Mundia were representing Kambwili in a criminal proceedings namely the people v Chishimba Kambwili case no SSP/003/2018 that was before him.
Magistrate Simusamba stated that he was employed by the judiciary as a magistrate in the Lusaka district but was now acting as registrar, family and children’s division of the High Court of Zambia stationed at the Lusaka High Court.
He stated that Mr Kambwili, through Mr Mundia, his lawyer, on several occasions contacted him on phone and physically stating that Mr Kambwili wanted help in the criminal matter aforesaid by way of acquittal for which he was offering a sum of money and a promise of buying him a motor vehicle, which he turned down.
Last month, Magistrate Simusamba jailed Mr Kambwili one year for forgery and uttering a false document.
Kambwili is currently on bail, pending appeal in the High Court.
Simusamba urged the court to dismiss the case.