POLICE in Luanshya yesterday ordered UPND president Hakainde Hichilema, his vice Geoffrey Mwamba and other party officials to immediately leave the town after two opposition leaders’ seditious practice and unlawful assembly cases were discontinued through a nolle prosequi.
The state has entered another nolle prosequi in matters where Hichilema and GBM were charged with unlawful assembly and seditious practices.
The cases, which were being heard in the Luanshya Magistrates’ Court, were among those seen to be politically motivated as the two opposition leaders were arrested soon after the August 2016 elections following their refusal to recognize the election of President Edgar Lungu.
When the matter came up yesterday before Ndola magistrate John Mbuzi, the state informed the court that they had instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions to enter a nolle prosequi.
In count one, Hichilema was charged with seditious practices contrary to the Laws of Zambia.
It was alleged that Hichilema on September 20, in Mpongwe, conspired with other unknown people to bring into hatred, incite violence, resistance and disobedience to the administration of the elected government of Zambia by uttering words, “Nga taba mufumishe Matambo, epo ulubuli lwalatampila (If they haven’t released [Copperbelt UPND chairperson Elisha Matambo], that’s how the fight will start.”
In count two, GBM was charged with seditious practices.
It was alleged that on September 26, in Mpongwe, GBM conspired with other unknown people to bring into hatred, incite violence, resistance and disobedience to the administration of the elected government of Zambia by uttering words, “Ifwe pano ngaba UPND tulwile twakana iyi government yakwa Lungu; ngabamyeba ati kuli ama meeting yaba Lungu mulekana, pantu president wesu ni HH (As UPND, we should not recognise the government of Lungu because our president is HH)”.
In count three, the two UPND leaders were charged with unlawful assembly contrary to the Laws of Zambia.
It was alleged that on September 26 in Mpongwe, the duo jointly and whilst acting together with others unknown convened, assembled unlawfully with intent to carry out some common purpose without notifying the regulating officer. After the discontinuation of the cases, the UPND cadres who turned up in large numbers to give solidarity to their leaders jubilated.
They went into song and dance, but this angered the police officers who were manning the court grounds. But the celebration grew bigger when Hichilema and GBM emerged from court, as the cadres jostled to congratulate the two leaders. But this prompted an identified senior police officer to order the duo (Hichilema and GBM) to immediately leave the court grounds and Luanshya town because their business there had ended.
“It is better you leave this place immediately, leave Luanshya immediately to avoid confusion. The business that you came for here is over,” the officer was heard telling Hichilema and GBM who even failed to address the press.
The UPND entourage obliged and immediately left Luanshya. Hichilema was recently released from prison via a nolle prosequi where he and others spent 127 days for alleged treason.