POLICE assistant commissioner Bothwell Namuswa has told the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court that the group of UPND members that gathered at Lusaka High Court to offer solidarity to their leader Hakainde Hichilema in December last year did not commit a crime.
Namuswa, however, said he ordered his officers to discharge teargas and apprehend the said cadres because they forced themselves into the court building despite being stopped.
During cross examination before magistrate David Simusamba in a matter where nine UPND cadres are charged with riotous behavior, Namuswa, who shot one of the cadres who still has a bullet lodged in his buttock, said the crowd on that material day was singing and chanting party slogans.
He initially said singing and chanting party slogans was circumstantially a crime.
Namuswa told the court that the crowd unlawfully assembled but when asked if any of the people apprehended was charged with unlawful assembly, he refused.
The court heard that on the material day, the situation stayed calm as the crowd sat outside the court premises until the UPND leaders emerged from the building.
“People started advancing to the gate from the highland disturbing the flow of traffic. I ordered them to go back. At this point, I ordered my officers to discharge teargas to disperse the crowd because those people started stoning police officers,” said Namuswa.
Robby Mukamba and eight others are charged with riotous behavior contrary to the Laws of Zambia.