Fit HH appears in court

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 11:50:34 +0000



CONTRARY to reports that incarcerated UPND president Hakainde Hichilema was in poor health, he yesterday appeared together with five others in the Lusaka Magistrates Court on charges of treason in good shape.

Last week UPND lawyer Jack Mwiimbu and HH’s wife Mutinta claimed that the UPND leader had been poisoned and his blood would be on the PF government should anything happen to him.

Mr Mwiimbu complained that Mr Hichilema had suffered ill health following the alleged brutal attack on him prior to his arrest and that he was in bad condition which required immediate medical attention while in Lilayi Police Training College holding cells.

But yesterday Mr Hichilema, clad in a red coat and khaki trousers, seemed in high spirits, looked confident and healthy as he appeared before the court.

Lusaka Magistrate Greenwell Malumani has since granted Mr Hichilema the right to medical attention following his application that he was unwell and required immediate medical check-up to ascertain his health status following an alleged attack with teargas at his residence.

Lead lawyer Vincent Malambo explained that with the level of exposure to teargas, Mr Hichilema required immediate medical attention. “He was attacked at his place of residence at night. Teargas was discharged in the room where he was with his family.

“With the amount of teargas that the accused was exposed to, immediate access to treatment should have been given, he has demanded for his family doctor to examine him but that too has been denied,” he said.

The UPND president is being represented by a 7-man legal team headed by Mr Malambo, SC, which include Mr Mwiimbu, Keith Mweemba and Martha Mushipe, among others.

Mr Malambo told the court that his client required medical attention as he was in ill health owing to the unquantified teargas he inhaled during the hours the police were looking for him at his house.

He also needed a mattress to help make his stay as a political prisoner as comfortable as possible.

Magistrate Malumani ruled that as a fundamental human right, Mr Hichilema was entitled to medical care as provided for under the law, and granted that he should be attended to by his personal physician.

And Mr Malumani has asked the prosecution to provide an indication of how they wished to proceed over the charges against Mr Hichilema and the five others in a mixed indictment which included a felony and misdemeanors.

The UPND leader has been charged with Hamusonde Hamaleka, Muleya Hachinda, Laston Mulilanduba, Pretoruos Shaloba and Wallace Chakawa on the count of treason and disobedience of police orders to pave way for the Presidential motorcade, while in the third count, Mr Hichilema was solely charged with using insulting language.

Magistrate Malumani said the State should have separated the charges to allow for those triable by the subordinate courts to proceed while they awaited instructions for the committal to the High Court.

He has also ruled that the accused person had the right to seek legal representation and access to his lawyers at least for one hour a day instead of the 20 minutes as prescribed by the police.

He also ruled that because of the seriousness of the nature of the charges, Mr Hichilema must have restricted visitation by his wife, children and five other family members within normal visiting hours.

The magistrate has also ordered that since the accused have appeared in court, they were no longer in the custody of the police, and so must be immediately moved to Lusaka Central Correctional Facility, Chimbokaila.


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