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ACC appeals Nevers Mumba’s sentence

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The Anti-Corruption Commission has appealed to the High Court against the sentencing of former High Commissioner to the Republic of Canada Dr Nevers Sekwila Mumba.

Dr Mumba, 58, was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Commission and charged with one count of failure to follow procedure contrary to section 34 of the Anti-Corruption Act No 38 of 2010 and acquitted on this count.

He was also charged with two counts of abuse of authority of office contrary to Sections 99(1) of the Penal Code Cap 87 of the laws of Zambia and convicted on these two counts.

The appeal follows the conviction of Dr Mumba by the Magistrates Court on the two counts of abuse of authority of office contrary to Section 99(1) of the Penal Code Cap 87 of the laws of Zambia and handed down an absolute discharge.

The Commission has contended that the Magistrate Court erred at law when it made an order of absolutely discharging Dr. Mumba for misdemeanors when the law has provided for a punishment.

The Commission has argued that the Court’s decision was in fact contrary to section 41 of the Penal Code Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia which provides as follows:

“Where a Court by or before which a person is convicted of an offence, not being an offence the sentence for which is fixed by law, is of opinion, having regard to the circumstances including the nature of the offence and the character of the offender, that is inexpedient to inflict punishment and that a probation under the Probation of Offenders Act is not appropriate, the Court may make an order discharging him absolutely or subject to the condition that he commits no offence during such period, not exceeding twelve months from the date of the order, as may be specified therein”

Further, the Commission has submitted that section 38 provides a punishment for a misdemeanor which is either imprisonment not exceeding two years or a fine or both. This submission is supported by a decision in a case of the People V Grace Simutowe (1993) S.J.75 (H.C) which it was held that

“It would be improper for a magistrate to discharge a person conditionally or absolutely where the law provides a punishment.”

In a judgment delivered by Magistrate Joshua Banda on September 12, 2018 Dr. Nevers Mumba was discharged absolutely after finding him culpable for misdemeanors under section 99 (1) of the Penal Code Cap 87 of the laws of Zambia.

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31