- Mucheleka, Elias Mubanga, Samuel Ngwira, Chinyimba Bwalya and Kelvin Bwalya are charged with malicious damage and were due to appear before Principal Resident Magistrate Oswald Chibalo.
By STEPHEN MWEWA
THE trial for UPND deputy Secretary-General Patrick Mucheleka together with four others failed to take off in the Kasama Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
This is because defence lawyers were reported to have been attending to other matters in Lusaka.
Mucheleka, Elias Mubanga, Samuel Ngwira, Chinyimba Bwalya and Kelvin Bwalya are charged with malicious damage and were due to appear before Principal Resident Magistrate Oswald Chibalo.
The trial was scheduled to commence yesterday and continue today, but defence lawyers and the suspects were not in court.
National Prosecutions Authority (NPA) public prosecutor, John Kamfwaka, informed the court that trial would not commence because the defence lawyers were attending to other matters in Lusaka.
But the magistrate warned the state to keep its lane of prosecuting the matter rather than giving an excuse on behalf of the accused persons.
Mr Chibalo said sureties or the defence lawyers themselves were by law supposed to explain the absence of the accused persons and not the State lawyer.
The court adjourned the matter to December this year for commencement of trial.
Mucheleka and other suspects were alleged to have damaged NRC issuance machines, which were being used in the mobile registration exercise on September 13, this year in Kasama’s Chitamba Village.
All the five are being represented by lawyers from Malambo and Company and Muleeza Mwiimbu and Company.
They are on a cash bail of K10, 000 each with two working sureties each.