LEADERSHIP Movement leader Richard Silumbe and 12 party members have denied possessing offensive weapons or material.
This is in a matter where Silumbe, who is also a surgeon is jointly charged with his party secretary general Browns Sinyangwe, Yamikani Zulu, Finod Mukubesa, Gilbert Daka, Isaac Chibuye, Lazarus Zimba, Edward Chicheleko, Dismas Chanda, Amos Tembo, Elias Banda, Joseph Chimwendo, and Prella Chinga 30 for possessing 54 machetes, among other offensive weapons.
Allegations are that Zulu, Mukubesa, Daka, Chibula, Zimba, Chicheleko, Chanda, Tembo, Banda, Chimwendo, Chinga, Sinyangwe and Silumbe, on October 14, 2019, whilst acting together and without lawful excuse, possessed 54 machetes, six High Power Stun guns and 13 short buttons.
When the matter came up before chief resident magistrate Lameck Mwale, the prosecutions told court that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had authorised the prosecution of the 13.
Magistrate Mwale read the charge to the accused to which they pleaded not guilty.
According to Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja, 11 out of the 13 accused persons were arrested after concerned members of the public spotted them camping in an unfinished building in Lusaka’s Chalala area.
Kanganja said the suspects were found with 55 machetes, six Taser guns, 17 walkie-talkies, 29 boxes of registration forms for Leadership Movement party under the leadership Richard Silumbwe.
He said seven black berets, 13 black shot buttons and 11 pairs of black combat uniforms labelled LM were in the possession of the accused.
“In the interest of peace, we are considering making a strong recommendation for the deregistration of organisations such as the Leadership Movement if our investigations establish as matter of fact that this group had the blessing of what is supposed to be a political party,” he said.
The matter comes up on December 10 for commencement of trial.