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Court adjourns treason ruling to Monday

Lusaka magistrate David Simusamba has adjourned ruling on whether Hakainde Hichilema and five others should be committed to the High Court for their treason case.
The matter came up this morning but ruling has been deferred to Monday at 09:00 hours.

Below is the brief verbatim of today’s court proceedings:

State prosecutor Noah Mwanza: Your Worship… the matter for a ruling. Accused persons are remanded in custody and are present in court. The defence counsels are before court.

Defence lawyer Jack Mwiimbu: May it please you Your Honour. We have an urgent application to make before this honourable court. The application will be made by Mr Haimbe, one of the defence counsel.

Mulambo Haimbe: obliged your honour, the record will show that at the last sitting before this court in relation to this matter, this court ordered and directed that seized properties be restituted to the accused. The record will also show that subsequent to your ruling a formal order was filed before this honourable court on 5th May 2017 and duly indosed that order was served on among other the inspector general of police and the dealing officers at service officers namely Mr Arthur Shonga ad Mr Mpanzi Mbita who is the arresting officer who duly acknowledged receipt of the same order. This was on 9th may 2017. However, that not withstanding the said individuals from service headquarters refused to release the subject properties without any lawful reasons. Your Honour,  it is true law that orders of the court must be respected and therefore the refusal of the said order yo release the subject properties amounts yo intentional disrespect of an order of this honourable court which in our submissions is contempt in terms of sec 116(1) I of penal code chapter 87 of the laws of Zambia.  In view of this development your honour it’s our application that the said individuals namely Mr Arthur Shonga and Mr Mpanzi Mbita of service headquarters be summoned before this honourable court yo show cause why they should not be cited for contemy or indeed committed yo prison on account of the said actions. That your honour is our application and it is our prayer that the motion be considered by this honourable court..I am most obliged.
Senior State advocate Bob Mwewa: Obliged…the State would like to say that the order was not willfully disobeyed. There was lack of evidence of proof of ownership by the person who wants to collect and also that of direct delegation from the owners. Your Honor in curing this situation with the leave of the court. Instead citing the officers, Our proposal is if the defects are cured, the vehicles will be given to the owners.

Haimbe: I am obliged, very brief response. Your Honour the submissions by the state confirms our assertions before this honourable court that there has been a wilful refusal to obey lawful orders of this court.  Your Honour in that regard it is our submission that there is no defect to be cured contrary to sectin …the law intends and purposes there is sufficient reason before this court to summon the said police officer so that they can show cause as earlier submitted. My learned colleague has made startling submissions before this honourable court to the effect 1. That no proof was shown 2. That there was no delegation we are aware that the order was served under the hand of the representatives of the accused persons who are on record. With those circumstances it’s not open to the State to assert as it now in any event your honour. Our application is that the subject officers be brought to the court essentially to explain why they should not be cited for contempt and therefore. Given that the basic facts have been already put on record for my colleague to suggest that the process of explanation can be done here at the bar. I believe my colleague has an objection

Mwewa: I did not give evidence from the bar.

Haimbe: the State has agreed and we pray that the application be granted.

Magistrate Simusamba rules and directs that certain properties be restituted.
Magistrate: I find it fit that the said Shonga and Mbita appear before this court.

Magistrate Simusamba further orders that the officers appear on Monday and said the date for ruling in the treason matter will be set after the motor vehicle contempt.

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