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UPND cadres’ idle trial fails

By CHARLES MUSONDA

TRIAL yesterday failed to take off in a case nine United Party for National Development (UPND) cadres have been charged with one count of idle and disorderly persons.

It is alleged that the nine conducted themselves in a manner likely to cause breach of peace along Independence Avenue on December 23, 2020 when they went to offer solidarity to their leader, Mr Hakainde Hichilema who appeared at the police headquarters for questioning.

Mr. Hichilema was summoned for questioning over the purchase of land in Kalomo belonging to late Samson Siatembo allegedly in 2004.

When the case was called before Lusaka Magistrate Felix Kaoma yesterday, public prosecutor Sheria Miselo told the court that the prosecution had prepared two witnesses but was unable to proceed with trial as there were no exhibits before court.

Ms. Miselo said it has been difficult for the arresting officer to bring the exhibits to court and asked for an adjournment to enable the State bring the exhibits.

In response, defence lawyer Kamuwanga Phiri of Malambo and Company said he sympathised with the State’s situation but that he had no objection to the latter’s application for an adjournment.

The court has now set February 5, 2021 as the new date for commencement of trial and extended bail for all the defendants who were among the 20 UPND cadres apprehended on the material date during the bloody fracas in which public prosecutor Nsama Nsama Chipyoka and UPND cadre Joseph Kaunda were shot dead in unclear circumstances.

A few days before the incident, police had warned the UPND to stay away from the proceedings involving Mr. Hichilema but the opposition party defied the warning and ferried its supporters to the police headquarters in about 32 buses, some of which have been impounded. The nine appearing before Magistrate Kaoma are Eddy Nawa, Sydney Ngulube, John Wilima, Nelson Banda, Wellington Mwanza, Levy Malowa, John Kashokoto, and Nicholas Matongo while 11 others will appear before Magistrate Albert Mwaba on February 10, 2021 for a similar offence

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