The Lusaka High Court has upheld the conviction and sentencing to nine months with hard labour of Former PF ambassador to Nigeria George Mpombo and has since issued an order to arrest him.
Mpombo was convicted by a magistrate court in December 2013 for theft by public servant, forgery and uttering a false document when he was Defence minister under the MMD. He appealed to the High Court but Lusaka High Court judge Mungeni Mulenga also said he is guilty and should be jailed. Mpombo was not in court when the High Court made its decision and therefore issued a bench warrant for the police to arrest him and take him to prison.
But Mpombo told his sponsors at the Post newspaper that he is ready to serve his nine-month jail sentence.
He said neither he nor his lawyers from AMC Legal Practitioners were in court for the appeal but that on Thursday evening, his lawyer sent him a text message that judgment was the next day (yesterday).
“This (yesterday) morning, I was preparing to leave for Lusaka, then my lawyer says the appeal has been thrown out. She (judge Mulenga) decided to read the judgment in my absence and she has issued a bench warrant. I said ‘Look, I am not a criminal, I do not run away from justice myself.’ Then I quickly went home just to pack up and prepare to get to Lusaka. I don’t know what to do, my lawyer is not picking up my phone,” said Mpombo.
“The whole thing is a complete quagmire; it is flabbergasting. Right now, I have just packed my katundu. I don’t want them to create any problems because they may come and start harassing me and people from the farm and the family may not take it well. I am ready to present myself to the authorities as a law-abiding citizen. This whole thing is completely befuddling; I am actually befuddled by the whole situation. I don’t understand these shenanigans. This whole damn thing has confused my family.”