Magistrate David Simusamba yesterday failed to show up to rule on MMD president Nevers Mumba’s bail application.

Mumba was brought to court at 14:00 hours, which was the time magistrate Simusamba had set for the ruling but by 15:40, magistrate Simusamba was a no show, without any explanation.

As the MMD leader was being led to a police vehicle to take him back to jail around 16:00 hours, he was heard saying; “May God forgive the prosecutors.”

Meanwhile, Civil Rights activist Brebnar Changala, who was among those who turned up to offer solidarity, said it was disappointing that magistrate Simusamba did not provide any explanation for his absence.

“You have seen the drama. It’s a symbolic act of breakdown in the rule of law. The magistrate set this date to hear Dr Nevers Mumba’s application, it’s not Dr Nevers Mumba who set this date. And for some reason he decides to disappear. This man [Mumba] has spent the whole Easter holiday behind bars and this man has appealed to the High Court because he doesn’t believe that he is genuinely convicted. And these are signs and symbolic act that our judiciary is under siege. It’s under siege by the way they conduct themselves. You cannot treat your fellow human beings in this manner,” said Changala.

“It has not been told to us why magistrate Simusamba is not here to hear the bail application. His whereabouts are not known and yet you have somebody incarcerated and he is entitled to bail. This is a deliberate move. He has to tell us otherwise. This is a deliberate move unless he tells us something else. He set this date. The day he (Mumba) applied for bail, he could have been heard that day. He (Simusamba) decided to put it far away from the day of application to this day and yet he doesn’t make himself available.”