THE case in which suspended Copperbelt commissioner of police Mary Tembo is facing two charges of abuse of authority failed to take off in the Ndola Magistrate’s Court yesterday because the defence team was not ready to open their defence.
The case was scheduled to come up for commencement of defence, but was adjourned to today after the defence made an application to defer the matter to allow them to co-ordinate their defence.
Defence lawyer Milner Katolo, in making the application, told magistrate Paul Chisha that the defence needed sufficient facilities and time to co-ordinate their defence.
“Your honour, we have not had time to co-ordinate the defence. It is in this line that we seek an adjournment from this court so that we are able to put ourselves together and put up a co-ordinated defence. We also need to confer as counsel on the way to proceed,” Mr Katolo said.
But state prosecutor Boniface Chiwala argued against the application, stating that the defence had enough time to prepare themselves as the matter had been adjourned for some time.
Magistrate Chisha granted the application and adjourned the matter.
Tembo, 54, was found with a case to answer on the two counts of abuse of authority on April 17, this year, and was therefore placed on her defence.
The accused, of house number 4, Bokafu Street, in Ndola, is charged with two counts of abuse of authority of office, contrary to section 21 (1) of the Anti-Corruption Act No.3 of 2012.
Particulars of the offence allege that, on dates unknown, between May 1 and June 30, 2013, Tembo abused the authority of her office as commissioner of police for the Copperbelt Province by obtaining a Toyota Corolla registration number AAX 5716 from Grizzly Mining Limited which she registered in her name, thereby obtaining benefits for herself.
In the second count, it is alleged that Tembo, on dates unknown but between November 1 and December 31, 2012 in Ndola, abused her authority of office by asking Grizzly Mining Limited, a private company, to fix her personal vehicle, a Toyota Cressida registration F100.