Tuesday, February 12, 2013

(LUSAKATIMES) Retired Mkushi farmer accused of causing the death of over 50 people appears in court

COMMENT - Clearly it is unfortunate that one old man could cause the death of over 50 people in traffic. However, it is the lack of investment, caused by the absence of profits from copper. It should't be possible for one individual to cause such a large crash. But he did.

Retired Mkushi farmer accused of causing the death of over 50 people appears in court
Time Posted: February 12, 2013 5:14 pm

Mr Abraham Vandeem being led to a holding cell after appearing in court

A 74-year -old retired Mkushi farmer accused of causing the death of over 50 people involving a post bus and a truck in Chibombo area of the Central province today appeared before Kabwe Magistrate Court.

Abraham Vandeem appeared before Principal resident Magistrate Court John Mbuzi for the reading of the charges which took almost 45 minutes in a full to capacity court room and he responded that he understood the charges.

This is in matter in which the accused person whilst driving a Toyota Land Cruiser registration number ABH 2214 is alleged to have caused the death of 51 people by dangerous driving contrary to section 161 of the Road Traffic Act No.11 of 2002 of the laws of Zambia.

Magistrate Mbuzi said the accused could not take plea because the matter charged is tried by the High Court and that would have to wait for instruction from the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to commit the case to the High Court.

The accused person has been denied bail pending court appearance.

Earlier lawyers representing the accused Mulilo Kabesha from Kabesha and Company and Paul Mulenga from Woods and Company applied to the court for the bail saying the case the accused person was faced with was bailable and that there are ready to meet the bail condition once the court grants the suspect bail.

Mr Kabesha contended that the accused person was a well known person who has invested heavily in the country and was of fixed abode and that he has problems and that keeping in cells will be unfair.

He said his client has heart, legs, and lung problems and prayed to the court to grant him bail.

But State prosecutor Susan Mwkalombe objected to the application saying the accused was a foreign national who could leave the country without the knowledge of the state and asked for fairness in the application considering the gravity on the matter at hand.

But in respond Mr Kabesha said the beauty of the Zambian law it does not discriminate and argued that as far as the law is concern any person is innocent until proven guilty.

In his ruling Magistrate Mbuzi denied the accused bail on the grounds of his nationality while the said investment in Zambia has not been tabulated by the defence.

He said due to the gravity of the offense committed he was denying him bail and adjourned the matter to february 26, 2013 for another mention and remanded in custody.

The accused who was using a walking stick was later taken to the holding cell within the court premises because been whisked away.

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