INFORMATION and publicity chairman for the Edgar Lungu PF team Emmanuel Mwamba yesterday managed to avoid a night behind bars after using every trick in the book to beg a magistrate to pardon him for absenteeism.
Last week, Mwamba failed to appear for a hearing related to allegations of assaulting a police officer, leading the court to issue a warrant for his arrest.
During the hearing on the return of the bench warrant before Magistrate Trevor Kasanda, Mwamba, a former Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union, ate a humble pie and was remorseful.
Mwamba was asked to show why his bond should not be canceled for missing Court
The apologetic Mwamba who was seemingly on holiday, explained that he was attending a conference in the United States of America and he cut short his trip immediately he learned about the warrant issued for his arrest.
Mwamba apologized for the inconvenience caused and assured the magistrate that he would be present for all future court sessions as demonstrated in his action by arriving at 08:00 hours before the court sessions.
“I wish to sincerely apologise that permission for my absence could only be granted by you(magistrate Kasanda) and not any other party. I wish to pledge that I will be at court whenever the court is seated to hear my matter,” Mwamba said.
“I apologise to my sureties I have a duty to inform them when I am traveling myself because they are standing in for me as sureties.”
His lawyer, Makebi Zulu, equally took the blame for misleading Mwamba that the matter would be adjourned since he was not available and attending to a matter before High Court judge Situmbeko Chocho.
“The error in judgement was solely ours and we seek the indulgence of this court to consider the plight of the accused especially that he came to court by himself. As the officer has purported, the said warrant was executed in court. He is not appearing on warrant.”
Magistrate Kasanda, while cautioning against unnecessary adjournments, ultimately gave Mwamba the benefit of the doubt, canceling the arrest warrant.
The State sought to strengthen Mwamba’s bond conditions, arguing that the initial terms set by the police were inadequate.
However, Magistrate Kasanda sided with Mwamba’s defense, stating that there was no evidence to prove Mwamba as a flight risk.
He ordered Mwamba to surrender his passport to the clerk of court, ensuring the court’s involvement in any future travel plans.
The case has been adjourned to March 18 for trial.
Story and Picture by Mwaka Ndawa
Kalemba, February 9, 2024