CHARLES MUSONDA writes
A MAN accused of defaming President Lungu has narrowly survived going to remand prison following the court’s last minute decision to rescind revoking his bail.
In this case, Enockson Banda, 27, is facing two counts of defaming the President, contrary to Section 69 of the Penal Chapter 87, of the Laws of Zambia.
Particulars of offence are that between April 1, 2018 and June 30, 2018 in Lusaka, Banda published two defamatory statements with intent to bring President Lungu’s name into ridicule.
He is also facing one count of possessing obscene material tending to corrupt morals.
On his first court appearance last July, Banda’s personal details indicated that he was a teacher at Msolo Primary School in Samfya district but as of Wednesday this week, the court record showed that he is unemployed.
When the case came up before Lusaka Magistrate Sylvia Munyinya on Wednesday, Banda applied for an adjournment through his lawyer on grounds that he was unwell and needed medical attention.
The State did not object to the application after which Ms. Munyinya adjourned the case to today.
She however observed that when the case came up on February 19, 2019, Banda was not present before court and neither were his sureties.
Ms. Munyinya then told Banda that she did not see the reason she should allow him to go back home because he and his sureties did not communicate with the prosecution regarding his whereabouts on that day.
The accused person then explained to the court that he fell ill and informed his sureties who failed to communicate with the court.
But Ms. Munyinya warned Banda that she was going to remand him in custody until he brought new sureties since the bail is already there.
“If you bring other sureties I will consider releasing you. The reason you are giving is not even convincing. If I ask you for the documents from the hospital you will not show me. Next time you stay away from court I will remand you in custody.
“Bail is not a right, you have a right to apply for bail but granting it is at the court’s discretion. For today I will give you a benefit of doubt,” Ms. Munyinya said before allowing Banda to leave.