Court refuses to grant Chimba appeal bail

Sat, 17 Dec 2016 10:38:08 +0000


 THE incarcerated freelance journalist Chanda Chimba III may spend his entire two years jail sentence in custody following the refusal by the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court to grant him an application for bail pending appeal.

Chimba’s bail application was refused by Ndola Magistrate Obister Musukwa on grounds that there were no chances of his appeal succeeding and that the two grounds of appeal were determined during trial.

When the matter came up for hearing before Mr Musukwa, sitting in as a Lusaka Magistrate, the State prosecutors Martin Mayembe and Boniface Chiwala of the Anti-Corruption Commission(ACC), objected to Chimba’s bail application on grounds that the court, when convicting the applicant, was of the view that the State had proved the case beyond reasonable doubt.

The State further submitted that for the court to allow the application for bail pending appeal would be circumventing its own decision in a matter which was already determined in respect of the two grounds.

Mr Mayembe and Mr Chiwala submitted that the court could not go back on its earlier decision and agreed that they were high chances of the appeal not succeeding.

Earlier in his application for bail pending appeal, Chimba through his lawyer Charles Lisita, submitted in his three grounds of appeal Chiimba that the learned trial magistrate erred in law and fact by holding that there was duplicity in all the counts charged.

He also accused the trial magistrate of having erred in law and fact by declining to consider amending the charge under the Forfeiture of Proceeds of Crime count.

Chimba added that more grounds might have been filed upon perusal of the court record and judgment.

He applied to the High Court to be heard although entered out of time and that the reasons for the delay in entering the appeal and the grounds which he submitted should be heard.

Chiimba 111 was jailed for two years and fined K1,000 or in default 12 months imprisonment.

This was after he was found guilty of two counts of unlawful printing and publication of two tabloids, namely News of our Times and Stand up for Zambia.

He was also convicted on one count of disposal of property suspected to be proceeds of crime.

In the same matter, Mr Musukwa acquitted former Information and Broadcasting Minister Ronnie Shikapwasha and his former permanent secretary Dr Sam Phiri of abuse of authority of office.


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