A 47-YEAR-OLD businessman of Lusaka has pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of forging President Edgar Lungu's signature on a land allocation document, among other offences.
This is in a matter in which Richard Joseph Mutale of Makeni is facing seven counts of forgery, three counts of uttering a false document and one count of obtaining money by false pretences.
He appeared before Principal Resident Magistrate Lameck Mwale.
In the first count, Mutale is alleged to have forged an acknowledgment for the business appointment with the Head of State letter purporting to show that it was genuinely written and signed by Amos Chanda the special assistant to the President when in fact not.
In count two Mutale forged a land allocation document in Petauke addressed to the acting District Commissioner purporting to show that it was genuinely written and signed by President Lungu when in fact not.
In count three, Mutale is charged with obtaining money by false pretences.
In count four, Mutale allegedly forged a document purporting to show that it was issued by State House when in fact not.
In the fifth count Mutale is charged with uttering false document.
In count six Mutale is alleged to have forged a Patriotic Front business card in the name of Richard Joseph Mutale purporting to show that it was issued by the office of the political adviser to the President when in fact not.
In count seven Mutale allegedly uttered a false Patriotic Front business card bearing his names to William Simpson by falsely pretending to show that it was issued by PF when in fact not.
In count eight he allegedly forged a Grade 12 certificate number 93102445 in his names purporting to show that it was issued and authorised by the Examinations Council of Zambia.
In count nine, allegedly forcged a Bachelor of Arts degree number BAA 3870 by purporting to show that it was issued and authorised by the University of Zambia.
In count ten, he allegedly forged a letter of admission as a supplier of heavy duty mine equipment and goods by purporting to show that it was genuinely written and signed by Paul Chanda, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Mines when in fact not.
And in count 11 Mutale is alleged to have uttered a false document, acknowledgment for a business appointment with the President to William Simpson, the managing director for Truck and Trailer Sales Limited.
Mutale later applied for bail saying he has been in custody for 26 days and had not been taking his Anti- retroviral (ARV) drugs. He told the court that the drugs were in his vehicle that was impounded.
However Magistrate Mwale expressed concern as to why the police would keep someone in custody for so long without being brought to court.
Mr Mwale granted him bail of K20, 000 in his own recognisance with two working sureties bound in the sum of K30, 000 but in their own recognisance.
The matter has been adjourned to April 25, 2019 for mention and May 8, 2019 for trial.