“Fugi­tive Pi­lato” ap­pears in court

Daily Nation Newspaper - - HOME NEWS - By NA­TION REPORTER

“FUGI­TIVE” mu­si­cian, Chama Fumba, pop­u­larly known as ‘Pi­lato’ ap­peared be­fore a Lusaka’s mag­is­trate court yes­ter­day charged with dis­obey­ing law­ful orders.

Fumba ap­peared be­fore mag­is­trate Mwaka Mikalile to­gether with Laura Miti, Chama Fumba, Zam­bia Coun­cil for So­cial De­vel­op­ment ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Lewis Mwape, Born­well Mwewa, Mwika Mwambazi, and Pa­tri­ots for Eco­nomic Progress (PEP) pres­i­dent Sean Tembo. They are all charged with dis­obey­ing of law­ful orders fol­low­ing their protest in Septem­ber 2017 against the pro­cure­ment of 42 fire en­gines.

Fumba was ar­rested yes­ter­day on ar­rival from South Africa at Ken­neth Kaunda In­ter­na­tional Air­port (KKIA) at about 15:30 hours by plain clothed police of­fi­cers.

A war­rant for Fumba’s ar­rest was is­sued on Fe­bru­ary 5 af­ter he failed to ap­pear in the Lusaka Mag­is­trate Court on charges con­nected to his par­tic­i­pa­tion in a protest over the pur­chase of the 42 fire trucks.

When the mat­ter came up for the re­turn of the bench ar­rest war­rant, mag­is­trate Mikalile asked the ac­cused why he had not been ap­pear­ing be­fore court since the time the mat­ter was brought to court.

In re­sponse, Fumba said he had not been ap­pear­ing be­cause he gone out of the coun­try. He said he left the coun­try be­cause he felt his life was in dan­ger af­ter he re­leased a song called ‘koswe mumpoto’ and started re­ceiv­ing threats from strange peo­ple through tele­phone calls, What­sApp mes­sages and videos on how he would be dealt with se­verely.

He said he did not flee the coun­try to run away from justice but for his own safety be­cause of the threats he re­ceived from peo­ple.“Your hon­our I did not flee the coun­try be­cause of run­ning away from the in­sti­tu­tions of justice but be­cause of the threats I re­ceived from peo­ple and I felt my life was in dan­ger.

“I had re­ported the mat­ter to the police but noth­ing was be­ing done which caused me to flee for safety, and when I was leav­ing the coun­try, I had not ap­peared be­fore any court,” he said.

He fur­ther said he was un­der the pro­tec­tion of Amnesty In­ter­na­tional which had writ­ten a let­ter to the Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tion (DPP) over his case.

“I have the let­ter from Amnesty In­ter­na­tional which was writ­ten to the DPP and a CD con­tain­ing video ev­i­dence of the threats di­rected to me,” he said.

He said his lawyers ad­vised him to re­turn to the coun­try and upon ar­rival, he was ar­rested.

Af­ter his ex­pla­na­tions, all the ac­cused were asked to take a plea and they all pleaded not guilty to the charge.

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