EFCC grants Katanga bail orders her to surrender her passport

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LUSAKA chief resident magistrate Davies Chibwili says it was difficult to state whether Charity Katanga’s appeal has high prospects of success because based on the evidence adduced before him in her criminal case, he deemed it fit to convict her.

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In admitting Katanga to K100, 000 bail in her own recognizance pending appeal against her three year sentence, magistrate Chibwili said the Economic and Financial Crimes Court (High Court division) might come up with a different decision after reviewing his findings hence he would give her a benefit of doubt.

Katanga who is former Deputy Inspector General of Police was jailed three years on February 19, 2024 for possessing 10 Higer buses worth K26, 282, 770 suspected to be proceeds of crime.

However Katanga appealed against her jailing and asked the court to grant her bail pending appeal on reasons that her appeal had prospects of success.

She said she might serve a substantial part of the sentence by the time the appeal is heard.

But ruling on the bail application magistrate Chibwili said ; “It is very difficult for me to say that there are high prospects of the appeal succeeding. I may say so because having considered the evidence at trial, I felt confident in that it was safe to convict her. The High Court however may see the same evidence and come to a different conclusion.”

He said the argument that Katanga’s appeal would have been heard by the time she had served a substantial part of the sentence, is no longer considered as a reason for granting bail following the operationalization of the fast track court.

“The appeal in this matter is going to the Economic and Financial Crimes Court(High Court division), they are a fast track court.
Preparation of the record on this case has already started and within a few weeks, it will be ready for transmission to the High Court,”magistrate Chibwili guided.

“The application therefore by the applicant that she would have served a substantial amount of her sentence before her appeal is heard is not supported by the facts on the grounds. As much as I might not agree with her on those points, my Court is a Court of first instance where criminal matters are concerned. If a person is not satisfied with my decision, they have a right to take their argument to the High Court. If they are not satisfied with the outcome of their appeal in the High Court, they can go to the Court of Appeal.”

He said he would exercise his discretion and grant Katanga bail pending appeal.

Magistrate Chibwili granted Katanga free bail in the sum of K100, 000 on a condition that she provides two sureties working working for reputable institutions and should be residents of Lusaka with a fixed abode.

He bound the sureties on K500, 000 in their own recognizance and preferred Katanga to surrender her passport to the senior clerk of Court.

By Mwaka Ndawa

Kalemba March 1, 2024.

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