LUSAKA Principal Resident Magistrate David Simusamba has finally granted NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili K100,000 cash bail, with two working sureties from reputable institutions to be bound in the like sum.
The total amount is therefore K300,000.
But Kambwili’s lawyer, Musa Mwenye State Counsel, says they are extremely unhappy about the stiff conditions, adding that K300,000 is a lot of money for a person of fixed abode.
By 15:00 hours, Monday, Kambwili who was been held at Kamwala Remand Prison had not yet met his bail conditions and was still in custody.
Some of his supporters were still waiting for his release outside Kamwala Remand Prison at the said time.
On October 14, this year, magistrate Simusamba convicted and sentenced Kambwili to 12 months imprisonment with hard labour on charges of forgery and uttering a false document.
He however, acquitted him on the other charge of giving false information to a public officer.
When the matter came up for hearing of Kambwili’s application for bail pending appeal, Monday, Mwenye said Kambwili lodged his notice of appeal against his conviction and sentence on October 22, 2020.
He said Kambwili was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment with hard labour, adding that if bail was not granted, the period of the imprisonment might be fully served before his appeal could be heard.
“This is an application for admission to bail. The precondition for the application is that there is an appeal the has been lodged. The convict was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment with hard labour, if bail is not granted, the period of the imprisonment may be fully served before his appeal can be heard. With our calculations your honour, as of Wednesday this week, the accused person would have served 4 percent of the sentence. And this is just in this period that we have been chasing up the bail application,” Mwenye said.
He, therefore, prayed that the application for bail pending appeal was granted, adding that Kambwili was not a flight risk.
Mwenye said Kambwili was a citizen of fixed abode, and was able and willing to meet the bail conditions.
However, the State objected to Kambwili’s application for bail pending appeal.
In his ruling, Magistrate Simusamba said Kambwili’s conduct during trial in relation to abiding to the police bond was quite bad, adding that he would stiffen the conditions more so that Kambwili was now a convict.
He granted him K100,000 cash bail, with two working sureties in reputable institutions to be bound in the like sum of K100,000 cash, each.
“I have heard the application and the reasons that have been advanced to admit the convict to bail pending appeal. I have also considered the objection by the State. After a thorough consideration, I have come to the following conclusion. That is to say I will admit the convict to bail pending appeal. However, I note the conduct of the convict in relation to abiding to the police bond during trial. And I have come to a conclusion that it was quite bad. And on several occasions, I did threaten to revoke it. For that reason, I will stiffen the conditions more so that he is now a convict,” magistrate Simusamba said.
“The following are the conditions for bail. K100,000 cash bail. Two working sureties in reputable institutions to be bound in the like sum, that is to say of K100,000 cash each.”
He adjourned the matter sine die.
But speaking after court, Kambwili’s wife Carol said the bail amount was unreasonable.
“Very outrageous, unreasonable amount. We are trying [to meet the bail conditions] and we are hoping that we meet the bail conditions by this afternoon,” said Carol.
Mwenye also said they were unhappy about the stiff conditions.
“As far as we know, during the course of the conduct of the matter, to the best of our knowledge there is only a few times that he (Kambwili) excused himself from the proceedings. I personally brought him to court not less than eight times at which the court adjourned the matter at the court’s instance. So we would have thought the court would take those things into consideration but the court didn’t. All we can do is to respect the decisions of the court. But we are extremely unhappy about the stiff conditions. K300,000 is a lot of money for a person of fixed abode, of the prominence of Mr Kambwili,” said Mwenye.
Last week, Magistrate Simusamba refused to entertain Kambwili’s earlier application for bail pending appeal, until such a time that he (Kambwili) complied with the appeal procedure enshrined in the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).
He said Kambwili’s notice of appeal which was filed on October 14, was irregular as it was filed into court way before he could finish pronouncing both his judgement and sentence in the matter, contrary to the demands of sections 321 and 323 of the CPC.
Magistrate Simusamba said the procedure to follow in simple language was that after the court had delivered its last order in the case and adjourned the matter, either party to the case (the convict or the DPP), could file a notice of appeal on any lawful grounds stated under section 321.
He said it was only after a notice of appeal had been successfully filed that section 332 of the penal code (bail pending appeal) could be invoked.
Magistrate Simusamba noted that in Kambwili’s case, the notice of Appeal was clearly filed before he could conclude the delivery of judgement and sentence, a position which was contrary to the demands of section 321 of the CPC.
On the same day after the ruling, Kambwili through his lawyers successfully filed in his summons for admission to bail pending appeal as well as a notice of appeal against his conviction and sentence.