STEPHEN MWEWA Writes
TRIAL in the case opposition UPND deputy secretary general Patrick Mucheleka and four others have been charged with malicious damage to property yesterday failed to take off in the Kasama Magistrates’ Court because the trial magistrate was not available.
Mucheleka, Elias Mubanga, Samuel Ngwira, Chinyimba Bwalya and Kelvin Bwalya are jointly charged with malicious damage to property belonging to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Particulars of offence are that on September 13, 2020 the accused persons destroyed two typewriters and a kiosk that were being used by officers who were conducting mobile issuance of national registration cards in Kasama’s Chitamba Village.
When the matter came up for trial yesterday, Mucheleka and his co-accused just appeared for mention before senior resident magistrate Chimuka Mutafera because principal resident magistrate Oswald Chibalo, who is supposed to preside over the matter, was reportedly out of the district.
The case was adjourned to January 26, 2021 for commencement of trial and cash bail of K10,000 each for all the five accused persons was extended.
Initially, Mucheleka, Mubanga, Ngwira, and Chinyimba Bwalya were also charged with aggravated robbery but the court discharged them after the State withdrew the case in October.
The State, through Northern Province National Prosecutions Authority deputy chief State advocate Richard Masempela, maintained the malicious damage charge after substituting the initial indictment with the fresh one, which has included Kelvin Bwalya.
Meanwhile, Mr. Mucheleka has urged UPND members across Zambia to take advantage of the extended mobile voter registration exercise to register in big numbers.
He urged party members to encourage eligible voters to exercise their democratic right of voting for leaders of their choice in next year’s general elections.
And Mr. Mucheleka has thanked UPND members from Lusaka, Luapula, Copperbelt, Muchinga, and Northern provinces for their continued solidarity to him and his co-accused persons each time they appeared in court.
He said this when he addressed the members after the case was adjourned.