…as GBM misses court due to illness
By VIOLET TEMBO
INCARCERATED UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema yesterday protested over the manner he was moved from Mukobeko Maximum Prison in Kabwe to Luanshya where he is charged with his vice president, Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, for seditious practices and unlawful assembly contrary to the laws of Zambia.
Particulars are that HH conspired with others unknown to bring into hatred, incite violence, resistance, and disobedience to the administration of the elected Government of Zambia by uttering words namely “nga taba mufumishe Matambo, epo ulubuli lwalatampila.”
In count two, they have been accused of seditious practices.
In court yesterday, speaking through his lawyers. Hichilema complained that prison authorities had given him no prior warning of the trip to Luanshya to attend the scheduled court session.
It would appear for security reasons, no prior notification of the movement had been communicated.
After appearing in Luanshya before Magistrate John Mbuzi, Hichilema was reported to have been transferred to Kamfinsa State Prison, while the matter was adjourned to August 28, 2017.
When the matter was called, the State applied for an adjournment because the lead State advocate was in Lusaka attending to another matter in the Supreme Court.
It is alleged that on September 26, 2016 in Mpongwe, Mwamba did conspire with others unknown to bring into hatred, incite violence, resistance, and disobedience to the administration of the elected Government of Zambia by uttering words namely “ifwe pano ngaba UPND tufwile twakana iyi Government yakwa Lungu; ngabamyeba ati kuli ama meeting yaba Lungu mulekana, pantu president wesu ni HH.”
It was alleged that on September 26, 2016 in Mpongwe, being in a public place jointly and whilst acting together with others unknown did convene, assemble unlawfully with intent to carry out some common purpose without notifying the regulating officer.
Hichilema arrived at the Magistrate Court at about 11:10 hours in a police escort vehicle amid tight security, and just about 10 UPND officials were present in court.
However, Mwamba was not in court as he was reported to be unwell.
Defence lawyer Tom Shamakamba in response to the State’s application asked the court to stand down the matter for a few minutes to enable him consult with his client.
Mr. Shamakamba told the court that he had earlier spoken to the prison authorities over his intentions to get instructions from his client.
“We apply that the court may stand down for 20 minutes. We want to speak to our client and get instructions. We shall explain why the other accused (GBM) is not before court,” he said.
The court stood down for about 30 minutes and when it resumed sitting, Hichilema’s lawyer, Chimuka Magubwi, told the court that his client complained that the prison authorities lied to him when leaving Mukobeko Maximum Correctional Facility on pretext that he needed to see his lawyers.
“We want to address the court on the complaint raised by our client over the manner he was moved from Mukobeko Prison to the Luanshya court.
“He was called around 06:00 hours and told that he needed to talk to his lawyers yet they were bringing him here. And also what is the interest of the police when our client is in the hands of the prison authorities? Why is police and other agencies interested? That is what we wanted to bring out in court before we concluded,” Mr Magubwi said.
The State however went ahead to apply for adjournment, to which defence did not object.
On setting dates of adjournment, Magistrate Mbuzi indicated that he wanted the matter to be concluded in time.
“It is for the good of the accused to have this date near and conclude this matter. So if we are not sure when the treason case will start, we better bring this matter sooner not later so we finish,” he said.
The case has since been adjourned to August 28, 2017 for continuation of trial.
It is not clear on whether Hichilema has been taken to Kabwe’s Mukobeko Maximum Correctional facility or Kanfinsa facility in Kitwe, as the vehicle said to have been used to transport him was noticed heading towards Kitwe.