High Court denies traditional healer bail

Sat, 11 Mar 2017 12:35:00 +0000

LUSAKA High Court Justice Pixie Yangailo has refused to grant bail to traditional healer Kalonga Kanono in a case of attempted murder, saying he would interfere with the witnesses.

Ms Justice Yangailo agreed with the concern expressed by the State in opposition to the bail application that Kanono, whose real name is Chilufya Chileya, would interfere with the key witness in the case of attempted murder of his sister.

The judge said the seriousness of the charge on its own was not decisive to the application, neither was the likelihood of a conviction or combination of both, but that the State had convinced the court of the traditional doctor’s likelihood of interfering with witnesses.

“This in my view is sufficient to tilt the balance against granting the bail. I must emphasize that this, in my considered view, is a cognizable indication that the applicant will interfere with the key witness and obstruct the proper administration of justice,” she said.

Chileya, 39, of Lusaka’s Makeni Villa area, was on January 15, 2017, arrested for attempted murder when he allegedly shot his sister, Josephine Chilufya, 53, of Chibolya compound, using a pistol.

He appeared before Lusaka Magistrates Court and was referred to the High Court for his bail application because it was outside the lower court’s jurisdiction to hear the application.

He later applied to the High Court for bail as the charge before court was of attempted murder which is a bailable offence.

Ms Justice Yangailo explained that the court was not in the business of taking away a man’s freedom unless there was strong and recognizable indication that not doing so would interfere with the discharge of justice.

 She said in the case of the traditional healer, it was proved that if granted bail there was great potential for him to tamper with witnesses, especially the complainant who is his sister.

“The offence which the applicant faces is a serious one and if there is any interference with the witness, it would defeat the proper administration of justice.

“For the forgoing reason, I am satisfied that if admitted to bail, the applicant may tamper with the key witness. Accordingly, the applicant is denied bail, and the application dismissed,” she said.

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