By Thulasizwe Tembo in Ndola
Suspended Copperbelt Commissioner of Police Mary Tembo has been acquitted of the corrupt charges leveled against her.
The Ndola Magistrate Court has acquitted suspended Copperbelt Police Commissioner Mary Tembo on two counts of abuse of authority of office.
Ms Tembo 58, was arrested on November 13, 2013 and was charged with two counts of abuse of authority of office.
Particulars before court were that between May 1, and June 30, 2013 It was alleged that, Ms Tembo abused the authority of her office as Commissioner of Police for the Copperbelt Province by obtaining a Toyota Corolla registration number AAX 5716 from Grizzly Mining Limited, which she registered in her name thereby obtaining benefits for herself.
In the second count, it is alleged that Ms Tembo, on dates unknown but between November 1 and December 31, 2012 in Ndola, abused her authority of office as Commissioner of Police for the Copperbelt Province by asking Grizzly Mining Limited, a private company, to fix her personal Toyota Cressida registration F100.
In passing judgment Chief Resident Magistrate Paul Chisha said the prosecution had also proven that the accused was a public officer, an aspect that was admitted by the defence.
Magistrate Ms Chisha said it was not in dispute that by the time Ms Tembo was serving as Commissioner for the Copperbelt, the province was faced with transport challenges.
“And with regards to count one, did the change of ownership meant to benefit her? The state could have assisted the court to find out if operations were conducted using the same car. In summary, am of the view and find that the accused did not facilitate the registration of a vehicle in her name or personal benefits but for police services. So the prosecution has failed to prove that she registered the vehicle in her name and to benefit her. I acquit her accordingly in count one,” he said.
Magistrate Mr Chisha then granted Ms Tembo the vehicle and laptop which the state had grabbed during investigations after her Lawyer Milner Katolo’s application.