M’membe’s wife pleads not guilty, gets bail

Oracle Media proprietor Mutinta Mazoka being taken to police cells at Kabwata Police Station in Lusaka-Picture by Tenson Mkhala

ORACLE Media proprietor Mutinta M’membe has been granted K3,000 bail in her own recognizance after she pleaded not guilty to a charge of obstructing police officers on duty.

And Lusaka magistrate Ireen Wishimanga has set February 20 for hearing in another case in which Mutinta, who is Dr Fred M’membe’s wife, has been summoned to answer to a complaint of contempt of court for allegedly tearing a search warrant on February 15.

In this matter, allegations are that Mutinta, 39; a businesswoman obstructed police officers as they engaged in lawful execution of a search warrant on Wednesday.

When the matter was called for plea before magistrate Faides Hamaundu, Mutinta said she understood the charge but denied committing the offence.

At this point, her lawyers Sashi Kateka, appearing with Ngosa Simachela from Nchito & Nchito Advocates as well as Keith Mweemba, applied for bail pending trial.

The state, through Richard Nyeleti, did not object to the bail application.

Magistrate Hamaundu then granted the accused bail of K3,000 in her own recognizance with two sureties in the like sum.

The matter was adjourned to March 3 for trial.

And according to court summons signed by magistrate Wishimanga, Mutinta’s attendance before court was necessary to answer to a complaint by Japhet Mulenga for offences of contempt of court.

“AND WHEREAS IT IS ALLEGED that you Mutinta Buumba Mazoka at Lusaka in the Lusaka District of the Lusaka Province of the Republic of Zambia with an act of intentional disrespect to the law enforcement officers and the Order of the Court did tear a Search Warrant dated 15th February 2017, which was duly authorised in the name of the President to search your premises with proper assistance. YOU ARE HEREBY commanded in the name of the President to appear in person before the Honourable Magistrate Wishimanga at Lusaka on the 20th day of February 2017 at 09:00 hours and every other subsequent day the matter may be adjourned to,” the summons to the accused read.

Mulenga, of house number D52 in Chelstone, stated in his affidavit that he was the person at whose instance the proceedings had been instituted.

He stated that on February 15 at 17:40 hours, at house number 7345, Nangwenya Road, Rhodes Park, Mutinta committed an offence of contempt of court by tearing the search warrant after she was served.

“That in the circumstance, I crave for the indulgence of this honourable court within the discretion pursuant to section 91 (i) of the Criminal Procedure Code to issue a warrant of arrest against the accused to come and show cause why she should not be cited for the subject offence,” stated Mulenga.

According to the record, magistrate Wishimanga did not sign the warrant of arrest because Mutinta was already in the custody of the police but instead issued summons returnable on Monday, February 20.

         

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