The PF government has continued to persecute Freelance journalist Wilson Pondamali even when there is no evidence to link him to the framed up charges he is facing in court.
Pondamali Today, Thursday 31st July appeared before Kabwe Magistrate Maxwel Shiwanga for tramped up charges of theft of a library book and possession of military pamphlets. The court cleared Pondamali of charges of stealing a book, but put him on defence for possession of a military pamphlet.
The court has been under pressure to find him guilty so that a jail sentence can be meted against him. According to PF, this will cow him into submission and also scare other critic journalists to the regime.
Last year in July, police detained Pondamali for suspecting him to be one of the journalists running the Zambian Watchdog. They searched his house and framed him with charges of theft of library book, possession of military pamphlets, attempted escape from lawful custody and malicious damage to police vehicle. He was locked up in prison and when he fell ill he was chained to a hospital bed while receiving treatment for over 10 days.
He has however been acquitted of three charges but put on defence for possession of military pamphlets. The case has seen the change in Magistrates and Prosecutors for over a year.
The useless charge of possession of a military pamphlet emanate from some old, worthless military pamphlets which some soldier left in a business centre which Pondamlai was running with his wife many years ago. He just kept the pamphlet so that when the owner who forgot it could find it whenever he returned for it. But when the police raided Pondamali’ home looking for something to charge him with, they found this pamphlet which contains no important information at all.
Pondamali has however stated that he will continue to write objectively and professionally because Zambia was bigger than any single individual and that his loyalty was to the media fraternity and the country. He has maintained faith in the Judiciary and will commence defence on 9th September. He is being represented by Mulilo Kabesha of Kabesha and company.