Magistrate summons arresting officer in seditious practice case

 

By Limpo Sitali

LUSAKA magistrate Greenwell Malumani has summoned the arresting officer in a matter where UPND supporter Gilbert Liswaniso is charged with seditious practice.

Liswaniso, who is represented by lawyers Keith Mweemba and Gilbert Phiri, had pleaded not guilty to the charge.

When the matter came up for trial on Monday, magistrate Malumani ordered that assistant superintendent Edward Mambwe from police headquarters appears in court on Friday to explain why he had up to now not released Liswaniso’s mobile phone despite having been directed to do so last November.

The order followed an application by the defence lawyers to have the arresting officer cited for contempt because he disobeyed a court order to hand over Liswaniso’s mobile phone.

Earlier, the state through Pumulo Like, asked for an adjournment because witnesses were not before court.

But Mweemba objected to the application to adjourn the case submitting that Mambwe should appear and explain why he had not been appearing in court.

“People must learn to obey court orders. This arresting officer should be summoned to explain why he is not before court today,” Mweemba said.

And magistrate Malumani ordered Mambwe to appear before him on Friday to show cause why he should not be cited for contempt for not releasing the accused’s phone.

Last October, police arrested Liswaniso, the UPND national youth spokesperson, during a live programme at UNZA radio.

The allegation is that Liswaniso on October 31 with intent to bring contempt, disaffection, resistance or disobedience uttered seditious words by stating that “we will not recognise the legitimacy of his Excellency President Edgar Lungu.”

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