Zimba organizers convicted
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Eight accused persons, yesterday, appeared before the Bundung Magistrates' Court presided over by Senior Magistrate Kumba Sillah-Camara for organizing a Zimba cultural show without permission from the police.
According to the charge sheets the accused persons, Mariama Sambou; Choi Faye; Mariatou Gomez; Bayo Saine; Binta Jarjue; Isatou Sambou; Pa Antum Njie; and Dembo Jeng were all charged with the offence of common nuisance and obstruction of the highway by staging a cultural show, Zimba, thereby causing inconvenience for other users of the said road on 26 July, 2008, at Bundung Muritani in KMC. All the eight accused persons pleaded guilty to this offence when the charge sheet was read to them.
ASP Camara, who represented the IGP said that on the said day, at around 1800 and 2000 hours, there was a cultural performance locally called Zimba, staged by some group of people. He informed the court that before anyone stages this type of show it is necessary that such a person or group of people obtain a permit from a police station.
However, the prosecutor said that when a complaint was lodged at the Bundung Police Station about this show, it was discovered that the show was held without any permit from the police station.
In a court that was full to the brim with barely enough space for ventilation, all the accused admitted the police facts to be true. Magistrate Sillah-Camara, therefore, found them guilty of the offence they were charged with.
Lawyer Lamin Camara, defence counsel of the eight accused persons, in his plea, said "the convicts before this honourable court are all young men and women of our Gambian society. They are law-abiding citizens of this nation and to the best of [my knowledge] they are first offenders.
The young men among them are married with children and they are drummers by profession". He continued, in his plea on their behalf, that the accused persons did not want to cause nuisance and "it is obvious from their faces that they are all remorsefully ashamed of what happened on 26 July, 2008, and [have] said to themselves that they wish it did not happened this way".
He finally begged the court to temper mercy with justice and take cognisance of the fact that the convicts have been in detention since 27 July, 2008.
In her ruling, Senior Magistrate Kumba Sillah-Camara sentenced them to a fine of D1000 each on count one or in default to serve 3 months in prison, and D300 each on count two or in default to serve one month in prison each, as first time offenders.
Author: by Yunus S. Saliu