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Witnesses testify in Bishop’s unlawful confinement case
- Updated: August 2, 2012
Immersing Ministries Bishop and his wife, who are charged with unlawful confinement of a child, maintained their plea of innocence as they denied the evidence given by a witness in a matter.
Bishop Servant Mwelwa aged 50 and his wife Mary Mwelwa aged 35 appeared before Lusaka Magistrate Nsunge Chanda in Lusaka for allegedly tying their child to a bed in their house in Lusaka’s Makeni Simpson areas.
The two wondered why the witness took interest in their child adding that the child had nothing to do with the neighbours or anybody else. The state presented three witnesses in the matter, Doreen Siyamayila, Susan Kunda and Linda Banda who are believed to be neighbours to the accused bishop.
Bishop Mwelwa and his wife Mary are charged with unlawful confinement contrary to section 266 of the penal code cap 87 of the laws of Zambia.
Particulars of the offence are that the duo on May 31 this year while in Lusaka did jointly and whilst acting together wrongfully confined Tehila Mutambo, a boy aged three years believed to be their son. Doreen Siyamayila, the first witness, narrated to court how she came to know that Mr. and Mrs. Mwelwa were tying and locking their child in the house.
Ms. Siyamayila told the court that on the morning of May 31, 2012 the Bishop’s daughter came to her house and told her that her young brother was tied and locked in the house by her father adding that it
was not the first time such a thing was happening.
She said the young girl told her that her parents left home early in the morning leaving her young brother crying and therefore she needed someone to help her untie the boy.
She further testified that after she received the ‘sad news’, she thought of informing elderly people who where around so that they could help rescue the young boy in the house. Ms. Siyamayila said she later went and told her neighbours Susan Kunda and Linda Banda about the terrifying news as she did not know what to do.
She said it was at that moment that the three, together with the Bishop’s daughter, went to Kanyama police and informed police about the development.
Upon reaching home, the police open the house and found the boys tied to a bed with his legs swollen, making it impossible for him to stand alone.
“The boy was found tied using rubbers to a bed made of iron bars, plunks with torn blankets on it,” said Siyamayila. In cross examinations, the Bishop, who looked angered with the testimony of Siyamayila asked the witness whether she believed the child had told her instead of waiting for the parents to come and ask why they were doing such a thing to their child.
Bishop Mwelwa and his wife denied the testimony saying it was false adding that Siyamayila did not know them and had no right to interfere in anything.
And the second witness, Susan Kunda, a neighbour to Bishop Mwelwa, also told court that the boy was found in the couple’s house after their daughter complained that her parents had been doing that for a long time.
Magistrate Chanda, who could not stand Bishop Mwelwa’s attitude of asking worthless questions in cross examination, adjourned the matter to August 14, 2012 for cross examination of the second witness and continuation of trial.
Meanwhile Bishop Mwelwa remains in police custody wife his wife Mary. However before the case could begin Magistrate Chanda wondered why the two accused persons were not bringing people to sign their bail as the money for the bail was earlier paid awaiting sureties and the lawyers
as they had indicated when they took plea.
Magistrate Chanda however told Bishop Mwelwa that the court will not worst its time waiting for the lawyers that seem not to come anytime soon.
However Bishop Mwelwa told magistrate Chanda that it was not easy for him to find a lawyer as he was in police custody but could not argue if the court decided to proceed with the trial.