THE Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal in which Mufumbwe member of Parliament Stephen Masumba was challenging his conviction and 12-month jail sentence slapped on him by the High Court for using an accounting diploma which he fraudulently acquired.
This was after the court learnt that Mr Masumba had abandoned the appeal and his subsequent release from prison after Guy Scott, who was acting as President at the time, pardoned him under a presidential amnesty.
Earlier, Supreme Court judge Muyinda Wanki asked why Mr Masumba’s lawyers were absent from court.
Mr Justice Wanki, sitting in Ndola with Supreme Court judges Elizabeth Muyovwe and Mumba Malila on Tuesday, wondered why Masumba’s lawyers were not present to update the court on the case.
Mr Justice Wanki said the court only had a notice dated December 1, 2014 from Mr Masumba in which he informed the court of his decision to abandon the appeal.
“Where is the appellant in this matter? All we have before court is a letter written by the appellant himself to notify the court that he was abandoning his case. We expected his lawyers to come and explain to us on the new developments in the matter,” Mr Justice Wanki said.
But deputy chief state advocate Chipola Bako informed the court that Mr Masumba had been pardoned by Dr Scott.
“My Lord, I am not putting myself on record as we are not the ones representing the appellant in this matter but what we learnt through the media was that he was pardoned by the Acting President,” Mr Bako said.
In response, Mr Justice Wanki said: “Following the decision by the appellant to abandon the appeal in the case, the appeal is accordingly dismissed.”
Last year, the Lusaka High Court upheld a 12-month sentence slapped on Masumba by the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court for using a fraudulent accounting diploma to get a job.