THE State has submitted that it believes that embattled Kitwe Pentecostal Bishop, Dominic Nyondo who was reported to have committed suicide is still alive.
Bishop Nyondo is accused of sexually abusing nine female church members, but was reported to have committed suicide by jumping into the crocodile-infested Kafue River last week.
Bishop Nyondo of Holy Fire Christian Ministry Church was charged with nine counts of defilement, rape and indecent assault.
The offences were allegedly committed between April 2010 and December last year and involved female church members aged between 14 and 45.
When the matter came up for continued hearing yesterday, State prosecutor Juma Banda told Senior Resident Magistrate Daniel Musonda that the accused person had absconded from court proceedings.
Mr Banda said the alleged suicide was mere speculation and that the sureties had the duty to avail the accused person to the court at all times.
“As far as we are concerned, the suicide is just mere speculation. The sureties should show cause why the court should not cite them for contempt for failing to avail the accused person to the court at all times and we feel this obligation has been breached,” he said.
Mr Banda said Nyondo was not dead and advised the sureties to avail the court with proper documents to prove that the accused had died.
He said failure to do so, would prompt the State to make a necessary application at the next hearing.
Defence lawyer, Gavu Nyirongo said he received information that his client had committed suicide and when he asked the officers, he was informed that they were treating the matter as a rumour.
Mr Nyirongo said it was therefore too early to state that the sureties had breached their obligation.
Royd Katongo, a surety and nephew of the accused person, said it was evident that the accused person had died because he received a phone call around 23:00 hours informing him that he had committed suicide.
The matter was adjourned to September 12, this year.
Times of Zambia