PRESIDENT Lungu has pardoned ailing Chisamba member of Parliament (MP) Moses Muteteka who was serving a five-year jail term for motor vehicle theft.
Through a special presidential amnesty, the President has since written to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Zambia Prisons Service informing them of the decision.
According to the order of release obtained by the Daily Mail and signed by the President on May 29, this year, Mr Lungu has pardoned Mr Muteteka on grounds of his illness.
The President has pardoned Mr Muteteka using powers vested in him by article 59(a) of the constitution of Zambia.
“Whereas Moses Muteteka was convicted of the offence of theft of motor vehicle and sentenced to five years imprisonment and whereas the said person abandoned the appeal and is chronically ill and whereas it is desirable that I grant him free pardon of sentence on occasion of special presidential amnesty release,” the order reads in part.
Mr Lungu ordered that Mr Muteteka be released from custody immediately on condition that during the period he should have been in jail, he does not commit an offence similar to the one for which he was convicted and sentenced.
And speaking in an interview with the Daily Mail at Parliament buildings yesterday, a joyful Mr Muteteka said he is humbled by the President’s decision to pardon him.
Mr Muteteka, who is former deputy minister of Local Government and Housing, said he went through a hard time since the court processes and this had not done him any good, especially that he is unwell.
“I am overjoyed, I will personally go and thank the President when he comes back. It has not been easy and when I received a call from the Ministry of Justice about this development, I could not believe it,” he said tearfully.
He said all his friends had abandoned him and only his close family and the people of Chisamba stood by him and encouraged him to be strong.
“I, however, don’t have a grudge against anyone because it opened up my eyes to know who my true friends are. My family and I really suffered but that is all in the past now,” Mr Muteteka said.
He said he is ready to resume parliament duties next week when the House starts sitting.
“I am a free man now and come next week, I will be in parliament as Chisamba MP. The people I serve have had no representation in a long time,” he said.
And Chief Chamuka of Chisamba said he is happy with the news, adding that it is a true reflection that God is alive and loves Mr Muteteka.
He said God has used President Lungu to free Mr Muteteka and urged the MP to continue praying.
“God loves him despite all that he has gone through, and no one should politicise his release,” Chief Chamuka said.
Mr Muteteka was last year sentenced to five years imprisonment with hard labour after being convicted of one count of theft of a motor vehicle.
He was jailed for stealing a Mitsubishi Fuso light truck valued at K75,000, belonging to Chibombo District Council in Chisamba Constituency.