UPND Vice-President Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba (GBM) has put his life in danger and risks being jailed for aiding fugitive Pilato to run away to South Africa, Kabwe-based lawyer Tutwa Ngulube has warned. Mr. Ngulube also warned that GBM risks being blacklisted and banned from contesting any elections in Zambia.
He said the current UPND leadership risked being convicted and jailed for aiding Pilato to abuse police bond by running away to South Africa, the Kabwe-based lawyer warned. Mr. Tutwa said once convicted, the UPND leaders risked being blacklisted such that they will not contest any elections in Zambia.
He told the Daily Nation in an interview that it was morally and legally wrong for political leaders like Mr Mwamba, who aspires to be the country’s Republican vice president to actually pose on photos with a fugitive or a wanted person.
He said there was no way Mr Mwamba and his party (UPND) could deny allegations that they sponsored Pilato’s self-imposed exile which resulted in him jumping bail after GBM posed with the lawbreaker.
Mr Tutwa was referring to a photo that was posted on Mr Mwamba’s face book page with the Zambian musician Chama Fumba, popularly known as Pilato who is wanted in Zambia for having jumped police bond.
Mr Mwamba posted: “I took a pose with satirical artist commonly known as Pilato. Mr Fumba’s life has been threatened by PF thugs and this has led him to seek protection in a foreign country.”
Pilato fled the country when he was supposed to appear before a court of law in a case where he and others are charged with disobeying lawful orders when they staged an illegal protest against the government’s purchase of 42 fire tenders in September last year.
He jumped police bond which prompted Lusaka principal resident magistrate Mwaka Mikalile to issue a bench warrant against him.
He said Mr Mwamba and his fellow party leaders in the UPND risked imprisonment if convicted for having aided Pilato to jump police bond.
Mr Ngulube explained that posing in a photo with a fugitive or a wanted person is like becoming a partner to a crime, adding that under the penal code section 20-24, if proved that one aided someone to commit a crime, he risked being jailed.
He explained that the penal code section 20-24 states that people who are assisting a criminal, can assist him either before a crime is committed or after a crime has been committed, hence they are culprits before the court of law.
“Looking at what the penal code said, he risks being locked up for actually aiding or abetting Pilato to jump bail, especially if it is proved that he was with Pilato. How can he dispute it if people are alleging that it is GBM and his party which initiated Pilato’s movement to South Africa for cheap political mileage?