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 2010-06-10 05:29 am Back to NEWS
Mímembe leaves prison
PAZA vice-president Amos Chanda shaking hands with M'membe after he was released from Lusaka Central Prison in Lusaka on 07.06.2010.ó The Post

POST editor-in-chief Fred M'membe yesterday wondered what President Rupiah Banda and his corrupt system had achieved from his incarceration.

M'membe, who walked out of Lusaka Central Prison accompanied by his lawyers George Chisanga and Remmy Mainza at 15:40 hours was lifted shoulder high by a jubilant crowd most of which was made up of UPND cadres who had gathered outside the prison as early as 08:00 hours.

"I would like to thank everybody for the support that I have been given since Friday and before that. I am very grateful to my fellow journalists. I have received more than the support I thought I would get and I deserve. I am extremely grateful and grateful to the UPND supporters, to the PF supporters, to the MMD supporters and the leaders who have given me the support," M'membe told the cheering crowd. "I do not know what Mr Rupiah Banda and his corrupt system have achieved from this. They thought they would humiliate me. They have not succeeded in humiliating me. It will not be long before the Zambian people know who they are, what they are, what they stand for, what they have been doing and what they intend to do and the consequences will not be good for them.

"We will continue to work the way we have worked. We hope, you know, our judicial process will improve. There is definitely some cleaning up that is needed in the judicial process, the police, the prosecution system and the entire judicial system needs improvement."

M'membe said he was very well received by inmates in Lusaka Central Prison and prison officers.

"People are working in prison to improve the conditions but there is noÖ I think the authority must look at the plight of prisoners. They have no one to speak for them. Mandela said, 'you judge a nation by the way it treats its prisoners'. Our prisoners are treated like animals. Our pigs, chickens and dogs sleep much better than prisoners," he said.

Asked if his spirit was crashed, M'membe responded: "Never! Never! It will never be possible for anybody to crash my faith. I am what I am and I will live that way and I will die that way," M'membe said.

And Lusaka senior resident magistrate David Simusamba yesterday granted M'membe a K20 million bail pending appeal in his own recognisance.

One of M'membe's lawyers Remmy Mainza said his client had been granted bail.

"He has been given a K20 million bail in his own recognisance with two sureties. What that means is that he is not paying any money at all. It's a free bail," Mainza said. "We have already lodged an appeal and the court would not have granted bail had we not lodged an appeal in the High Court. Our bail is conditional; one has to lodge an appeal for the court to grant bail."

Asked why there was a delay in granting the bail to M'membe, Mainza answered:

"This morning we briefly appeared before the magistrate but we were advised to amend our notice of appeal and this is what delayed the bail application until this afternoon."

On Friday, M'membe calmly entered Lusaka Central Prison (Chimbokaila) at exactly 13.40 hours after magistrate Simusamba sentenced him to four months imprisonment with hard labour as accused number one and four months simple imprisonment as accused number two (for The Post).

This is in a matter in which M'membe and The Post were last Wednesday convicted on a charge of contempt arising from the publication of an article in The Post of August 27, 2009 titled: 'The Chansa Kabwela case: A comedy of Errors', authored by United States-based Zambian Professor of law Muna Ndulo.

The Post

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