KITWE High Court judge Catherine Makungu has issued a bench warrant against a convicted defilerwho ‘disappeared’ from custody in unexplained circumstances.
Mrs Justice Makungu issued the warrant on Monday after the state through its advocate Chali Hambayi applied for the same.
The court has further ordered that a constable Ngoma, in whose custody the convict was before he ‘vanished’ to present a report to the court within three days.
This is in a case in which the Kitwe Subordinate Court tried and convicted Kelly Masumba for defiling a minor and committed him to the
High Court for sentencing.
However, when Masumba’s case was called for sentencing in the Kitwe High Court , the state through Ms Hambayi informed the court that the convict was absent.
“The convict is not before court. The prison service reported that on July 19, 2013, he was taken to court at Kitwe Subordinate Court and that after the court session, he was not taken back to Kamfinsa prison and circumstances are not clear why he was not taken back there,” Ms Hambayi said.
She said it is strange that Masumba’s whereabouts are unknown adding that prison authorities should avail the court with a report why the convict was not taken back to prison after the court session.
Ms Hambayi said there is no documentation to prove that Masumba was released under a court order or anything in that nature.
And an officer from Kamfinsa only identified as sub-inspector Cheleko, told the court that on the material day, Masumba was in the custody of constable Ngoma and that he appended the signature for the convict to taken to the subordinate court.
He explained that on the fateful day, Masumba never returned to Kamfinsa prison and that the officer-in charge then wrote to court on the matter.
“When we questioned constable Ngoma on the whereabouts of the accused person, he alleged that he was released at the subordinate court but we do not know who released him,” Mr Cheleko said.
He explained that constable Ngoma usually picks up remandees from Kamfinsa and takes them to the Subordinate Court.
Mr Cheleko added that the district prosecutions officer was also written to over the matter but that no response has been received to date.
And Ms Hambayi submitted that constable Ngoma be compelled to submit a report to the court on how the convict was released.
Mrs Justice Makungu granted the state’s application and issued a bench warrant against Masumba returnable on September 17, this year.
She further issued a three-day ultimatum to constable Ngoma to present a report on how the convict was released.
Zambia Daily Mail