A SENIOR United Party for National Development Party (UPND) leader has been locked up after the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court revoked his police bond yesterday.
UPND national chairperson for Youth, Sports and Child Development Michael Chuzu pleaded with the court not to send him to remand prison for failure to abide by police bond conditions in a case he has been charged for theft by agent.
Particulars of the offence are that on October 27, 2017 being an agent to Leman Mpokosa, Chuzu stole K70, 000 which was entrusted to him to buy a motor vehicle on behalf of the complainant.
Lusaka Magistrate Silvia Munyinya told Chuzu that after she adjourned the matter for continued defence, he decided to stop going to court.
But Chuzu explained that on January 31, 2019 his father died in Chipata and that he informed his surety who accompanied him for the funeral.
“My father was a village Headman under Chief Msoro so we didn’t have powers to decide the burial date. We buried on 4th February.
“I kept on phoning the prosecutor but his phone was just ringing. Last week I made an effort to come and find out the next date from the registry and I was told it is today 13th March.
“I came on my own but I was surprised when I was told to sit in the dock because of a bench warrant,” Chuzu said.
He said he had never missed a single day since the case started and that he was coming all the way from Chipata where he lives, adding that his absence at court was not intentional.
To show his remorse, Chuzu attempted to knee in the witness box but the court told him to stand.
He also told the court that he did not inform his other surety about this whereabouts when he was supposed to be in court.
He opted to close his defence on grounds that he might fail to bring his witnesses from Chipata.
And Ms. Munyinya told one of Chuzu’s sureties Mathias Nyirongo that a bench warrant followed the accused person because he stopped going to court. She said courts do not enjoy arresting people but only follow what the law says.
She also ordered Mr. Nyirongo to pay K20, 000 recognisance sum or serve six months imprisonment for breaching police bond conditions.
“You signed the police bond and pledged to bring the accused. You did not come to explain his whereabouts.
“When people are signing police bond or bail they must know that it is serious business,” she said.
Ms. Munyinya told the surety that she could not reverse the figure because it was set at the police, and remanded Chuzu in custody. She gave Mr. Nyirongo up to this month-end to pay failure to which she will send him to jail.