The Ndola Magistrates’ Court has acquitted former Copperbelt police commissioner Mary Tembo of abuse of authority of office.
Tembo, 58, of house number 4, Bukafu Street l Ndola, was arrested on November 13, 2013.
It was alleged that between May 1 and June 30, 2013 in Ndola, Tembo abused the authority of her office as commissioner of police for the Copperbelt Province by obtaining a Toyota Corolla registration number AAX 5716 from Grizzly Mining Limited, which she registered in her name thereby obtaining benefits for herself.
In the second count, it was alleged that Tembo, on dates unknown but between November 1 and December 31, 2012 in Ndola, abused her authority of office as commissioner of Police for the Copperbelt Province by asking Grizzly Mining Limited, a private company, to fix her personal Toyota Cressida registration F100.
In his judgment, Thursday, chief resident magistrate Paul Chisha said it was not in dispute that by the time Tembo was serving as Commissioner for the Copperbelt, the province was faced with transport challenges.
“It is not in dispute for the accused that she was a commissioner of Copperbelt. It is not in dispute that the accused faced a lot of transport challenges. I am persuaded to adopt the inferences to the accused person. The persecution has failed to prove the second count and the accused is not guilty of this count and acquit her accordingly in count two,” magistrate Chisa said.
“As regards to count one, was the change of ownership meant to benefit her? The state could have assisted the court to find out if operations were conducted using the same car. In sum, I am of the view and find that the accused did not facilitate the registration of a vehicle in her name for personal benefits but for police services. So the prosecution have failed to prove that she registered the vehicle in her name to benefit herself. I acquit her accordingly in count one.”
Tembo’s Lawyer Milner Katolo then applied that his client be given the vehicle which the state had grabbed from her.
Magistrate Tembo then granted the application.
“The vehicle grabbed from her and the laptop will be released within 14 days,” said magistrate Chisha.