Lusaka ~ Fri, 22 Jan 2021
By Brightwell Chabusha
Labour minister Joyce Simukoko’s secretary who was in court for forging a cheque and stealing K15,000 from the minister has been acquitted by Lusaka magistrate Felix Kaoma.
It was alleged that on August 26, 2020, 47-year-old Nyambezi Masiye was accused of forging cheque number 000354 by purporting to show that the signatory had paid her K15,000 when in fact it was a false.
In the second count, it was alleged that on October 10, 2020, Masiye uttered a false cheque number 000354 to Indo Zambia Bank.
In the third count, it was alleged that on the same date, Masiye stole K10, 000 belonging to Simukoko.
But magistrate Kaoma, in his judgement, dismissed the allegations against Masiye and acquitted her forthwith.
Magistrate Kaoma said it was not safe to convict Masiye based on evidence before him because he found that the minister was very forgetful.
“From the events surrounding the case, the minister had instructed Masiye to add a 1 to the K5000 cheque she had given her so as to make it K15,000 to pay all the organisations she had pledged to give money. The minister forgot that she had instructed Masiye to add a 1 to the K5,000 cheque hence reporting her to the police,” magistrate Kaoma said.
He said this was evident in the fact that Simukoko did not rebut Masiye’s evidence when she told the court that the changing of the amount from K5,000 to K15,000 on the cheque was with the consent of the minister.
Magistrate Kaoma said the minister was forgetful in her dealings in that at one point, she told the court that Masiye was her relief secretary for three months while at some point, she said Masiye had been her secretary since she joined the ministry of Labour.
“It is worth commenting here that when the complainant was cross examined, she could not remember asking about pledges. The accused was given another cheque but the complainant could not remember giving the accused another cheque on that very day,” magistrate Kaoma said.
After being acquitted, Masiye broke down as she praised God for vindicating her.