TWO Zambians yesterday found themselves in the hands of the police for investigation over their stay in the country after they volunteered to bail their fellow Zambian, who is facing charges of smuggling and attempting to sell arsenals and ammunition in the country.
The two Zambian nationals, whose names were not revealed, volunteered to serve as sureties in the case facing their fellow Zambian Mande Simtengu (56), who was brought before the Rukwa Resident Magistrates’ Court for the sixth time since he was arrested on February 5, this year.
Before Rukwa Magistrate Resident in Charge Geni Dudu the accused, who is from Chalamanga Village in Zambia, asked the court to grant him bail, saying he had two people, who would meet surety conditions.
It was at that juncture that the trial magistrate summoned the duo in court and handed them to the police to investigate them if they were living legally in the country. “It is not that easy for the court to grant the accused bail because he is a foreigner. This matter is serious and he is presently facing economic and organised crime charges,” the Resident Magistrate said.
“The police will investigate the bail guarantors because the court wants to satisfy itself beyond reasonable doubt if they are living in the country legally,” noted the trial magistrate, who adjourned the case until May 23, this year, when it would be mentioned again. He thus ordered the accused to be returned to custody.
According to particulars on the charge sheet, the accused was re-handed found on February 5, this year, at Safu Village in Kalambo District, Rukwa Region, in illegal possession of arsenals and ammunition smuggled from neighbouring Zambia.
The accused was scouting for prospective buyers without permit to possess the same, including a shotgun, a girner maker with serial No 46889 G and another shotgun, Remington with serial No 2616, two pistols, two manmade arsenals and three live ammunitions.
It was further alleged before the court that the accused was facing charges of unlawfully possessing firearms without permit contrary to section 20(1)(a)&(b) and 20(20) of the Firearms and Ammunition Control Act No 2 of 2015 read together with sections 57(11) and 60(2) of the Economic and Organised Crime Act (Chapter 200, R.E 2000) .