High Court registrar says cops tear-gassed UPND supporters

High Court registrar says cops tear-gassed UPND supporters

By Kaungu Ndumba

LUSAKA High Court registrar Kelvin Limbani on Tuesday told the magistrates’ court that police officers tear-gassed UPND supporters during a fracas at the High Court premises last December because they were outnumbered by the crowd.

Limbani was testifying in a case where 10 UPND cadres are charged with riotous behaviour.

He told magistrate Nthandose Chabala that on December 15, he noticed two groups of people that gathered – one inside and the other outside the court premises.

Limbani said police officers did not prevent the crowd from accessing the premises but that they simply controlled people that were entering.

“It is not an offence to access a public place but lawful officers can control the entry to such a place. Police officers who cordoned the entrance of the High Court premises did so to control entry and probably stop those who did not fit their regulation. If you are stopped by a lawful officer then it becomes an offence to enter,” Limbani said.

He explained that the crowd that was outside the court premises had charged towards the police, forcing them to use teargas and pepper spray in an effort to disperse them.

Another witness, Nalishebo Imata, who is the Judiciary chief administrator, said she condemned the UPND for the violence that left property damaged at the High Court as she was informed that the party took its cadres there.

Imata said after the cadres and police clashed, it was discovered that property, including a judiciary motor vehicle had been damaged.

The accused in this matter include Lubinda Simonda, 35, Namasiku Kalaluka, 21, Dereck Sikakando, 22 and Philemon Mbewe, 64.

Others are Emmanuel Malilwe, 24, Ackim Bote, 56, Alfred Habene, 64, Progress Simubali, 45, Nyambe Nalikena, 21 and Chipo Sichimu.

Hearing continues.