The Magistrate court in Nakonde district of Muchinga Province has convicted and fined a local clergyman K2 million cash or 18 months imprisonment in default on charges of being found in possession of obscene materials.
This is in case which Pastor Charles Nsemu,40, of Katozi compound in Chieftainess Waitwika’s area is facing one count of being found in possession of DVDs suspected to have pornographic contents that are likely to corrupt people’s morals contrary to section 177(1) (A) chapter 87 of the laws of Zambia.
Pastor Nsemu was arrested by the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) officers on August 12 at his home with the said Obscene materials following a tip from members of the public.
He allegedly gathered members of his church at his house where he was showing them the DVDs with pornographic contents.
Pastor Nsemu had earlier pleaded not guilty to the charge when he appeared for plea on August 13 and the matter was adjourned to November 5 for the commencement of trial.
But on Tuesday, Pastor Nsemu applied to take a fresh plea and pleaded guilty before trial magistrate John Kajiko Njapau after the Public Prosecutor Oscar Phiri, presented a letter of consent from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in Lusaka allowing the court to proceed with the matter.
Magistrate Njapau adjourned the matter to November 6 for written facts and sentencing.
Passing judgment, Magistrate Njapau said the court had found Pastor Nsemu guilty as charged upon his own admission of guilt and convicted him accordingly.
He said he had taken into consideration the mitigation of the convict but that having watched the DVDs in question, the court was convinced that the materials were likely to corrupt people’s morals.
Magistrate Njapau fined Pastor Nsemu K2 million cash to be paid before 17:00 hours yesterday or 18 months simple imprisonment in default.
In mitigation, Pastor Nsemu said he did not know that the materials he had in his possession were prohibited in the country adding that he was using the same to educate couples in his church.
Pastor Nsemu was later after court session spotted making arrangements to pay the fine so as to avoid the custodial sentence.