THE Lusaka high court has again dismissed former deputy minister Steven Masumba’s request for bail pending his appeal to the Supreme Court against his 12-month prison sentence.
The court has since advised the convicted Mufumbwe Member of Parliament (MP) to seek remedy from the Supreme Court.
Judge Chalwe Mchenga said yesterday that he could not hear Masumba’s matter because his earlier application was dismissed on its merits.
This is in a matter in which Masumba had asked Mr Justice Mchenga to grant him bail pending his appeal over the judge’s decision to uphold his conviction and 12 months sentence that was slapped on him by the Lusaka Magistrate’s court in November last year.
Mr Justice Mchenga on Monday upheld Masumba’s conviction and one-year imprisonment with hard labour after he agreed with the Subordinate court that he was guilty of obtaining pecuniary advantage by false pretences.
Masumba used an accounting technician diploma certificate he erroneously obtained from the National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA) to earn a job for himself.
Mr Justice Mchenga said when he upheld the sentence, that Masumba should count himself lucky for having been given such a sentence.
But Masumba, who was not satisfied with part of Mr Justice Mchenga’s decision, appealed to the Supreme Court and asked the High Court to grant him bail pending the determination of his appeal to the Supreme Court.
Masumba, who on Tuesday only filed a notice of his intention to appeal but no grounds of appeal, was declined bail by Mr Justice Mchenga because he was unable to tell whether Masumba had a chance to win his appeal, in the absence of the grounds of appeal.
Yesterday, Masumba through his lawyer Mutakele Lisimba filed in the Supreme Court heads of his arguments and went back to Mr Justice Mchenga to request for bail pending the determination of his appeal.
In his response, Mr Justice Mchenga said there were no exceptional circumstances in Masumba’s application yesterday because there were no grounds of appeal which he could have used to come to a conclusion that his appeal was likely to succeed.
Meanwhile, the matter in which former communications and transport minister Dora Siliya is charged with two counts of abuse of authority yesterday failed to take off because of the non availability of the prosecutor in the matter.
Siliya is in the first count alleged to have directed the cancellation of a duly awarded tender for the supply, delivery, installation and commissioning of the Zambia Air Traffic Management Surveillance Radar System to Thales Air System SA.
She is in the second count alleged to have accepted a free offer from Selex Sistemi Integrati S.P.A for the repair of a radar head at the then Lusaka International Airport without following procedure, and causing Government to lose K1,943,932,360 in the process.