THE Chipata Magistrates’ Court has put a 25-year-old man of Magazine Compound on his defence in a case of unlawful possession of police uniform that he is charged with.
Patrick Shadreck Mbewe is charged with unlawful possession of articles supplied to the police.
Magistrate Mercy Chabu put Mbewe on his defence on Tuesday after the prosecution closed its case following the testimonies of four witnesses.
Mbewe was allegedly found in possession of a police uniform on August 24, 2020.
One of the witnesses, Amon Mwanza, who is a police reserve, refuted claims by Mbewe that the police uniform he was found with belonged to him.
Mwanza said the accused claimed that the uniform belonged to him because he knew that he was a police reserve.
He also told the court that he does not know where the accused stays.
When asked by the accused whether he remembers the time he gave him the uniform to keep for him, Mwanza said he did not remember.
Another witness, Golden Banda, narrated how the police officers approached him during the course of the investigation.
Other witnesses who testified in the matter are defective constable Timothy Namachila and detective chief inspector Yubai Muliwana.
When asked by the court whether there was a report of a missing uniform at Chipata Central Police Station, Muliwana said there was no report.
Muliwana told the court that the mother to the accused told police that Mbewe gave her the police uniform to keep in July this year.
Magistrate Chabu also granted Mbewe a K500 bail in his own recognisance with two working sureties in the sum of K1000 in their own recognisance.
She later adjourned the matter to September 14, 2020 for defence and Mbewe said he would call his mother and wife in his defence.
When asked what he was doing with police uniform by magistrate Chabu, Mbewe, who had pleaded guilty in the initial stages, said he was given by his friend who is a police reserve to keep it for him.
He said his friend, Mwanza, had forgotten relish at Saturday Market so he decided to go and collect it thereby leaving the uniform with him.
Mbewe said he later gave the uniform to his mother to keep.
But Magistrate Chabu said the court recorded that the accused had pleaded not guilty because the plea was equivocal.