Release of Mpali actor Hambe (Shazzy) from custody

Popular Mpali actor Shazzy Phiri, as Hambe Nguzu, has been held in custody for days after being arrested on a warrant for failing to make sure that his older brother appeared in court. He can now return to work.

This came after the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court ordered his release from custody and ordered him to stop acting as a surety for his 28-year-old brother, Costa, because he had failed to perform the duty.

Steven, Hambe’s younger brother and another surety in the case, was also released along with him.

“The best I can do to for you is to discharge you from being sureties. Don’t you sign police bond if you dont understand the conditions. I forthwith discharge you,” the magistrate said as the two brothers swiftly left the courtroom.

Outside of court, the actor’s family members shielded his head to avoid being photographed by a throng of eager reporters.

They quickly kept watch over him and led him to the parking lot, where he hurriedly boarded a car.

The court had previously been informed that Shazzy and Steven had provided a police bond for their older brother Costa, who is accused of acquiring more than K20,000 on the false pretense that he was selling roofing sheets.

Costa, however, failed to appear in court more than five times after the bond was signed and he was let go from police custody.

Shazzy and Steven never appeared in court to give an explanation for their elder brother’s absence.

The prosecution team then requested the issuing of a bench warrant for the accused and the two sureties as a result of this.

Police eventually found the suspect after months of looking for him at the home of his brothers, who had guaranteed his police bond.

Shazzy and his two brothers were in the dock when the matter came up for the return of the bench warrant this morning.

The magistrate explained the circumstances surrounding the suspect’s arrest in May of last year before granting police release.

The magistrate also listed the various occasions when the accused failed to appear before him and he was compelled to postpone the case.

The magistrate stated, “You have heard the times I had to wait for you (Costa).

Costa said that he was unsure of the dates and had also traveled to Chipata when pressed to explain why he never showed up for court.

The defendant also testified before the court that despite appearing in court twice, his case was not called.

The magistrate said, “You ought to have gone directly to the clerk of court to inquire.”

Additionally, Steven and Shazzy were questioned about their failure to fulfill their responsibility as sureties by seeing that the defendant appeared in court.

Shazzy claimed in his defense that he had spoken with the suspect, who had let him know that he would be attending court.

The 27-year-old said that because of his demanding work schedule, he was unable to inform the court of Costa’s absence.

The magistrate questioned, “Was your work schedule more important than appearing in court?”

The 26-year-old Steven, too, struggled to explain why he didn’t make sure the defendant showed up for court.

Steven added, “He (Costa) used to reassure us that he was going to court.

Additionally, he informed the court that Steven visited Chipata in search of cash and that K2,000 was added to the K22,500 the accused received from the complainant as part of the legal dispute.

The magistrate, however, said that the sureties had manifestly disregarded their obligations and that the accused had misled them by telling them he would be in court when, in fact, he was not.

The magistrate promised to be kind to the sureties and release them from their obligation to stand in for the accused.

The magistrate informed the two, “You can go.”

Costa, who had already admitted to collecting the K24, 500 under false pretenses, was subsequently given the accusation.

The case will be read aloud and sentencing will take place on January 9th.

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