By DELPHINE ZULU –
NEVERS Mumba, former Republican vice-president and internationally renowned tele-evangelist has been jailed three months, saying ‘it is well’ as he was led away from the courts yesterday.
The Lusaka Magistrate court sent Mumba to spend three months in jail, but gave him leave to appeal.
Mumba, who was vice-president under late President Levy Mwanawasa, was convicted for giving false information to a police officer when he stormed the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) in 2016.
He had already been acquitted on the other count of criminal trespass because the court there was no evidence warranting his conviction.
The court ruled that he lied to the police officers manning the main gate at the ZNBC premises, when he told them he had an appointment with the news editor.
Magistrate David Simusamba said as a public figure he ought to have known that his false statement to the police, were dangerous and could have political confusion in the country.
He said Mumba, knowing that it was election time, should have restrained himself from uttering words which injured innocent members of the public.
“To protect the innocent citizens who got injured following the uttered words, a message has to be sent to would-be offenders. I accordingly find him guilty and convict him. I have taken what has been said in mitigation and that the offence is a misdemeanor, which sentence can either be a fine or a custodial sentence, but the offences committed and the circumstances were grave, you will serve a sentence of three months simple imprisonment,” he said.
The magistrate said he was satisfied that Mumba’s statement to the police officers was false, in that he did not have an appointment with the news editor.
Mr Simusamba said he was certain that had Mumba presented the truth, he would not have been allowed into the premises, especially that it was an election year and that ZNBC was scrutinizing the visitors to the station for the safety of its own staff.
The police officers opened the gate based on the information given by the convict, he said.
In mitigation Mumba said he was a former vice-president and a pastor in a Christian nation which should exercise leniency on first-offenders.
He pleaded with the court to hand him a non-custodial sentence.