Magistrate refuses to vary bond for Pilato, others


LUSAKA principal resident magistrate Mwaka Mikalile has thrown out an application by the prosecutions to vary the police bonds for human rights activist Laura Miti, musician Fumba Chama a.k.a Pilato and four others.

Public prosecutor Dennis Manda last week asked the court to vary the bonds for the accused persons but defence lawyers lead by Keith Mweemba objected, arguing that the State’s application was malicious because there was no situation that arose to necessitate the move.

The accused are charged with disobeying lawful orders after a peaceful protest against the purchase of 42 fire tenders. Ruling on the application, magistrate Mikalile rejected the application, saying her decision was based on law and that she had power as magistrate to enlarge the bond.

She warned the accused not to jump the bond, saying she would not hesitate to revisit her decision if that happens. All the accused appeared in court except Pilato, who was reportedly still in South Africa, seeking refuge.

Magistrate Mikalile adjourned the matter to February 26 for the return of Pilato’s bench warrant and possible plea.

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