Kambwili granted K30 000 bail

By Staff Reporter

 

OPPOSITION National Democratic Congress consultant Chishimba Kambwili has been granted a K30,000 bail after pleading not guilty to the charge of unlawful assembly.

And Socialist Party 2021 presidential candidate Dr Fred M’membe on Thursday demanded for the immediate release of the Roan constituency member of parliament after he was bundled in a police vehicle and taken to Luanshya to answer a callout.

Kambwili this afternoon made the ‘not guilty’ plea in the Luanshya magistrate court where he appeared for a charge of unlawful assembly after he was arrested at Lusaka central police and transported to Luanshya on Thursday, November 30, 2018.

Kambwili’s office indicated that the PF Roan Member of Parliament  was expected to hold a press briefing at his residence in Luanshya after all bail conditions had been met.

The NDC leader was detained yesterday and was by this morning awaiting a court appearance t at 09:00hrs.  However, he was taken back to the cells pending a court appearance at 14;00hrs this afternoon.

Kambwili was arrested for having addressed AVIC employees who marched to his house to complain of bad working conditions at the hands of their employers earlier this week.

The NDC leader then went to police headquarters in Lusaka to lodge a complaint against the Copperbelt  police chief, Charity Katanga for what he termed abuse of authority for insisting that he travels to Luanshya when he had a court matter the following day.

However, upon arrival at the police headquarters, Kambwili was bungled and transported to Luanshya were he was detained upon arrival on Thursday.

Nevertheless, Magistrate Mikalile today warned the police that they were beyond their jurisdiction to deny Kambwili appearance in her court because the courts were above the police and as such the latter should always oblige to the demands of the former.

Kambwili was scheduled to appear before Magistrate Mikalile in a case where he is facing charges of forgery.

In an interview with The Mast yesterday, Dr M’membe, the Socialist Party (Zambia) deputy general secretary, said it was very clear that the PF government was abusing the criminal justice system, especially the police powers.

“The way Kambwili has been arrested, bundled in a vehicle and taken to Luanshya clearly shows the abuses we are talking about. They have taken the police as a political tool that they can use to deal with their political opponents or competitors as they wish and as they deem fit,” Dr M’membe said.

“But any abuses are always bound to backfire or to boomerang. Our criminal justice system was not created for that purpose; it was created for a normal cause. This is not the right way to deal with political opponents!”

He reminded those in the government that power corrupts and that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Dr M’membe said those in power had gotten themselves in a position where power had absolutely corrupted them.

“But there will consequences in the future for all this. They will not be in power forever, no matter how much they try to manipulate their way stay in power forever,” Dr M’membe noted.

“We therefore demand an end to these injustices and the immediate release of Kambwili and also we demand that his rights are respected even as an accused person. Let them also bear in mind the state of his health; he is highly hypertensive and anything can happen to him. Should he die in their hands, they will not be able to wash his blood from their hands.”

And Dr M’membe, a lawyer, said those in power ought to learn from the past or history of what had been the ending of those who abused the police and the entire criminal justice system.

“It always backfires!” he charged.

He explained also that arrests of some opponents of the ruling PF bordered on weakened institutions.

“Those in government are able to perpetrate these injustices because of our weak judiciary that is not capable of protecting the rights of citizens. We have a judiciary that protects the rights of those in power and not the rights of citizens,” Dr M’membe said, adding that in a country with an efficient, effective and proper judiciary, abuses like what was obtaining in Zambia could not go with impunity.

“But today those in power are able to do whatever they want and whenever they want and in whichever way they want it. There is no court to stop them, there is no court to protect those who are not in power. Clearly, this is abuse of power. But again we would like to remind those who are in power that the exercise of power must be a constant practice of self-limitation and modesty.”

Dr M’membe further said PF government officials were giving themselves absolute powers which they did not have.

“They are abusing those absolute powers without restraint,” Dr M’membe noted.

Meanwhile, Dr M’membe demanded immediate changes to the public order Act because: “it is being grossly abused by this government.”