THE Lusaka Magistrate Court has jailed Patriotic Front (PF) cadre and former PF Matero Constituency youth chairman Heita Bwalya to a one week imprisonment for contempt of court.
Magistrate William Banda said he had no only option but to give Bwalya a one week simple imprisonment for the failure to appear in court.
For five months, Bwalya avoided appearing in court but he blamed his failure to do so to communication break down between his lawyer Anthony Kasolo, who was not in court, and the prosecutor.
This is in the matter in which Bwalya was charged with four counts; namely criminal trespass, theft, arson and malicious damage to the property belonging Buseko Timber and Grass Multi-purpose Cooperative based at Buseko market.
Magistrate Banda said Bwalya should go back to the court October 14, this year and advised him to inform his lawyer, Mr Kasolo about the decision of the court.
He warned Bwalya that if his lawyer would not be present in court the matter would proceed without him.
“You must inform your lawyer that the case is coming up on 14th October, this year, if he doesn’t come the case would go on and commence trial,” Magistrate Banda said.
In another court, Magistrate Alice Walusiku has issued a bench warrant for a Tswana journalist Gababotheaale Banda Prince after he failed to appeared in court yesterday.
Ms Walusiku also ordered that the two sureties for Prince be detained until Friday this week. The sureties are Abraham Mwanamainda and Kebby Lubinda Inamabo.
She said it was shocking and regrettable that Prince decided to jump the bail even after being trusted that he would appear in court. This is the matter in which Prince is jointly charge with a Zimbabwean driver Bhekimpil Nc’ube on the offence of stealing K34,000 from Mbalazi Cetius Kunkuli.
“It is unfortunate that things have turned out to be like that. Therefore, the application for bench warrant has been granted,” she said.
In applying for a bench warrant State prosecutor Darlington Mukelelabo said it was shocking that the defence lawyer did not know the whereabouts of his client and did not communicate with him.
He said it was important that the accused to respect the court by presenting himself when he was needed. But defence lawyer Alex Musanya said there was nothing shocking with non-appearance of Prince in court because several people have jumped bail before.
One of the sureties Abraham Mwanamainda complained that he had been communicating with Prince and he assured him that he would be go to court yesterday.