Police sergeant denies desertion

A ZAMBIA Police sergeant of Emmasdale police station has appeared in the Lusaka Magistrates Court for alleged desertion from service for more than a year after he was reported to have gone for prayers to seek divine deliverance.

Giving evidence before Magistrate Faides Hamaundu, detective chief inspector Mooya Mubita of Emmasdale police told the court that Sergeant Elis Daka deserted the Zambia Police Service in 2014 without cause.

Mr Mubita stated that as an investigation officer in the matter he decided to charge Daka with the offence of desertion from service because according to the Zambia Police Act, Section 26  (1) D, any officer who absented himself or herself from duty for 28 days is declared a deserter.

He said that during his investigations he tried to locate Sergeant Daka through his home address and through mobile phones but to no avail as all the numbers were switched off and that he had shifted from the house other officers knew.

Mr Mubita said in April this year Daka reported for work at Emmasdale police station and when he asked him why he was not reporting for duty, Daka replied that he had gone for prayers to seek divine intervention.

Mr Mubita told the court he was shocked by Sergeant Daka’s response because any officer who fell ill was supposed to go to hospital for medical attention and not to go for prayers or traditional doctors.

Cross-examining Mr Mubita, Daka asked if his wife did not show Mr Mubita documents from the hospital that showed that his absence from work was because of an illness.

Mr Mubita said he was hearing that for the first time because when Sergeant Daka and his wife in the company of a pastor visited him at his office in April this year, the pastor only pleaded with Mr Mubita not to relieve Sergeant Daka of his employment but the three of them did not give reasons why Mr Daka was not reporting for work. Ms Hamaundu has found Sergeant Daka with a case to answer and put him on his defence. Daka said he would give sworn evidence and call two witnesses.

The matter comes up on September 16 for defence.

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