THE Chipata Magistrates Court has set August 31st 2018 as date for ruling on whether the 15 Chipata Trades Training Institute students who were charged with riotous behaviour have a case to answer or not. Magistrate Philip Mpundu set the date yesterday after the state closed its case with six witnesses testifying.
Defence counsel John Phiri from Legal Aid is expected to file written submissions on Friday next week.
Earlier, detective Sargent Frank Chinkelenga, who visited the scene after the riot, said he took about 70 photos containing the damages caused by the riot.
In cross-examination by Phiri, Chinkelenga said the finger prints that he took at the scene of the crime did not match with any of the accused.
Detective chief inspector Kenneth Chihana, who is the arresting officer and the last state witness, explained how he investigated the matter before arresting the 15 students. Chihana said prior to the riot, the students convened an urgent meeting, which was spearheaded by students’ union acting president Billy Lungu.
He said Lungu, who is the first accused person, confirmed to him that the students were angered by the behaviour of the vice-principal Christopher Zulu, who had a tendency of expelling students on trivial disciplinary matters. Chihana said all the 15 accused persons denied the charges when he recorded warn and caution statements from them.
He also agreed with Phiri that he had no finger prints evidence to link the accused to the riot.
The students pleaded not guilty to one count of riotous injuring buildings contrary to the Laws of Zambia.
It is alleged that on June 11, 2018, the accused whilst being riotously assembled together willfully and unlawfully did damage windowpanes and windscreens to four vehicles.
The damaged property is valued at K216,286 property of the institute.