PRINCIPAL resident magistrate David Simusamba yesterday flushed out of the courtroom some unruly UPND cadres for murmuring when the state informed him that the parties had agreed to adjourn the case where Hakainde Hichilema and five others are charged with treason.
When the case came up for the state’s response to an application by the defence for a preliminary inquiry, senior State advocate, a Mrs Lungu, said the State was not opposed to the application that a preliminary inquiry be instituted in to the treason charge.
Lungu, however, said the State and the defence team had agreed to adjourn the case.
At this point, the cadres, mostly those who were standing behind the public and press galleries, protested by murmuring and magistrate Simusamba ordered them to leave.
He asked the police officer who was maintaining order in court to get rid of everyone who was standing and threatened to lock up those that would resist. As the officer started the process of flushing out cadres, magistrate Simusamba said he was going on a five-minute recess and called for reinforcement.
The court will go on five minutes recess. Officer call for reinforcement and let everyone standing leave,
magistrate Simusamba ordered.
When he returned from his chambers, the courtroom had been cleared of everyone who was standing but he went on to warn cadres against misbehaving.
He said he was aware that Hichilema was a political leader who had a following but he would not tolerate the harassment of judicial officers in court.
I have taken judicial notice that Mr Hichilema is a political leader who has a following or gathering. However, if the harassment of judicial officers continues, I will order that members of the public stop attending proceedings. If they continue to harrass judicial officers, he would order that they stop attending court proceedings,
Hichilema and his co-accused had the case explained by magistrate Simusamba on Wednesday as they await instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions for the case to be committed to the High Court.
The allegation is that Hichilema, Hamusonde Hamaleka, Muleya Hachinda, Laston Mulilanduba, Pretorius Haloba and Wallace Chakawa between April 5, 2017 and April 8, 2017 in Lusaka and Mongu respectively jointly and while acting together with other persons unknown, endeavoured to carry out by force an enterprise to unsurp the executive power of the State in a matter of both public and general nature through overt acts.
It is alleged that in overt Act one, Hichilema and Chakawa on April 5 in Lusaka jointly and while acting together conspired to mobilise an advance party to ensure Hichilema was accorded the status of the President of Zambia at the Kuomboka Ceremony in Mongu.
The second overt act alleged that Hichilema, and his co-accused on the same dates at Limulunga jointly and while acting together with other persons unknown and being in a convoy of motor vehicles on Mongu-Limulunga Road, obstructed the presidential motorcade, an act that was likely to cause death or grievous harm to President Edgar Lungu in order to asurp the executive power of the State.
The matter was adjourned to May 4 for preliminary inquiry.