CONVICTED People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president George Mpombo yesterday started his prison life with police effecting the bench warrant issued last Friday, resulting in him spending a night at the Lusaka Central police after losing his appeal against a nine-month sentence.
And Mpombo yesterday complained to police officers at Central Police that he had no blankets and wondered how he would spend the chilly night.
On Friday, the Lusaka High Court dismissed Mpombo’s appeal to have his nine months sentence quashed because it had failed in its entirety and that the subordinate court conviction and sentence should be upheld.
The Lusaka Magistrate Court last year sentenced Mpombo to nine months imprisonment for theft by public servant, forgery and uttering a false document.
Prior to his detention yesterday Mpombo was taken to the High Court by police officers for other formalities and later taken to Lusaka Central Prison between 14:30 and 15:00 hours.
Lusaka Province police commissioner Lemmy Kajoba confirmed the detention of Mpombo and said that he would be taken to the High Court today.
“Mr Mpombo is in our cells on orders from the court for contempt. It is not a police matter, it is a matter coming from the court. There are two issues, the bench warrant and the sentence slapped on him. What would happen now is that he (Mpombo) would be produced before the court on Monday,” Mr Kajoba said.
He said he was not sure whether Mpombo surrendered himself to the police or not but was driven to Central Police by police officers.
“I don’t know whether he surrendered himself or he was brought here. It’s like he told some journalists that he surrendered himself, but I am not sure. I only saw him (Mpombo) when he was brought to Central Police and officers locking him up because prisons don’t take in prisoners over the weekend,” Mr Kajoba said.
And speaking in an interview from the police cell, Mpombo who did not want to say much said it was okay in the cell.
Mpombo, who looked shocked in the cell with his traditional long beard, was clad in a blue jean and a checked shirt.
Police officers at Central Police pleaded with Mpombo’s relatives who went to visit him to get him some blankets because the night would not be friendly to him.
Earlier in the morning, Mpombo bragged that he was in town relaxing before he enters the prison gates today.
He said he was not expected to meet his lawyer as opposed to what he said on Saturday because he was advised that there was no need to rush for a meeting.
Mpombo said he had nothing to do yesterday apart from relaxing in town and have a nice meal while waiting to go to jail today.
“As for now I will just be in town relaxing and waiting for tomorrow to go to prison,” Mpombo said.
Meanwhile, former deputy Minister of Transport and Communications under the MMD government, Alfred Ndhlovu, said Mpombo should blame himself for failing to retire government travel imprest.
“Many of us were ministers and came out clean and smart of travel imprest issues because we accounted and retired the imprest as required by regulations. Permanent secretaries are controlling officers who usually and politely ask ministers to account for the travel imprest. This is a shame, I pity him,” Mr Ndhlovu said.