Court sets Jan 17-19 as trial dates in HH, GBM seditious practice case.
THE Luanshya Magistrates’ Court has set January 17,18 and 19, 2017 as trial dates in a case in which UPND president Hakainde Hichilema and his vice Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba are charged with seditious practices and unlawful assembly.
Despite the two opposition leaders not being present at court, there was heavy presence of armed anti-riot police officers.
The police sealed off roads leading to the magistrates’ court while more officers anti-riot police sealed the entrance to the courts.
The two leaders are appearing before magistrate John Mbuzi of Ndola.
During the last sitting, magistrate Mbuzi excused Hichilema and GBM from attending court because they would be attending to election petitions in the High Court, Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court.
And when the matter came up for mention, the state informed the court that instructions from the DPP were ready.
“We have received instructions from the DPP,” the state told court.
Magistrate Mbuzi then adjourned the matter and set January 17,18 and 19, 2017 as trial dates.
Hichilema and GBM are charged with two separate counts of seditious practices while jointly charged for unlawful assembly.
They pleaded not guilty to all charges and the court granted them K25,000 bail each in their own recognizance with two working sureties.
In count one, Hichilema is charged with seditious practices contrary to the Laws of zambia.
It is alleged that Hichilema on September 20, in Mpongwe, conspired with other unknown people to bring into hatred, incite violence, resistance and disobedience to the administration of the elected government of Zambia by uttering words, “Nga taba mufumishe Matambo, epo ulubuli lwalatampila (If they haven’t released [Copperbelt UPND chairperson Elisha Matambo], that’s how the fight will start.”
In count two, GBM is charged with seditious practices.
It is alleged that on September 26, in Mpongwe, GBM conspired with other unknown people to bring into hatred, incite violence, resistance and disobedience to the administration of the elected government of Zambia by uttering words, “Ifwe pano ngaba UPND tulwile twakana iyi government yakwa Lungu; ngabamyeba ati kuli ama meeting yaba Lungu mulekana, pantu president wesu ni HH (As UPND, we should not recognise the government of Lungu because our president is HH)”.
In count three, the two UPND leaders are charged with unlawful assembly contrary to the Laws of Zambia.
It is alleged that on September 26 in Mpongwe, the duo jointly and whilst acting together with others unknown convened, assembled unlawfully with intent to carry out some common purpose without notifying the regulating officer.