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Chipata court fines 2 sureties for failing to avail accused

THE Chipata High Court has given two sureties seven days to pay K4,000 each for failing to bring to court a Petauke man who is charged with causing death by dangerous driving. This is a case where John Daka of Petauke, who was on police bond, had been failing to appear before Lusaka High Court judge Mwamba Chanda, sitting in Chipata, on two occasions.

At first, the sureties told the court that they had failed to trace Daka and gave a similar statement when they went back on Thursday.

But judge Chanda gave the sureties up to October 19, 2017 to pay K4,000 each so that they could be removed as sureties and that the work of tracing the accused could be left to the police.

She said the two sureties had been responsible and co-operative with the court.

“The issue of signing as sureties is a game that people should understand but others have taken it as business as usual. There are a lot of repercussions involved, you should understand that you can be sent to jail as sureties. I am giving you a grace period of up to 19 October 2017, because you have shown that you can be trusted,” judge Chanda said.

She also fined Jones Lutele K1,000 or nine months simple imprisonment in default for causing death by dangerous driving in Lundazi on June 18, 2015.

Lutele, who was driving a Mercedes Benz truck registration number ABC 6795, caused the death of Theresa Banda.

The accident occurred along the Chipata/Lundazi road when he overtook a motor bike but the trailer ended up hitting the rider, thereby causing the death of Banda who was the passenger.

In mitigation, Legal Aid counsel Sally Bwalya said the convict was the first offender who readily pleaded guilty to the charge.
 She said Lutele was remorseful and regretted causing the death of a person.
 Bwalya said the convict who was now unemployed helped the family of the deceased with a coffin, transport and food.

Judge Chanda said she considered what was said in mitigation and also looked at circumstances that led to the accident to fine Litele K1,000 or serve nine months simple imprisonment in default.

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