CHARLES MUSONDA writes
Lusaka Magistrate Nsunge Chanda has warned a complainant to stop using the police to pursue his debtors because he risks going to prison.
Ms. Chanda warned Elvis Siampande, of John Laing compound, who reported Alex Phiri of the same area to police for alleged theft of K15, 000 and yet the latter just borrowed the money from him but only failed to repay the debt on time.
When the case came up for continued trial, the State informed Ms. Chanda that Siampande wished to address the court.
Siampande then told the court that he wanted to withdraw the case because Phiri had now paid him his K15, 000.
He said the accused person borrowed the money from him because he wanted a top-up to buy a car but delayed to settle the debt, after which he reported him to police for alleged theft of the money.
But his explanation did not please Ms. Chanda who rebuked him for reporting Phiri to police over the debt instead of suing him.
She said his action to have Phiri arrested over the money would make people think he is a criminal.
She cautioned Siampande that he should have commenced civil proceedings against Phiri instead of engaging the police to recover his money.
“You are lucky that he was on police bond because if he was in custody, I would have sent you to prison as well. You have already written your own judgment that since he has paid you the matter should be withdrawn.
“That is contempt, did I order you to do that? That is contempt and I can send you to prison for that. If he was in prison I would have sent you to prison also,” Ms. Chanda said.
She then reconciled Siampande and Phiri and consequently stayed the proceedings.