THE Choma Magistrates’ Court has granted bail of K10,000 to each of the five people accused of abducting Pheluna and Milton Hatembo.
Appearing for plea before Choma principal resident magistrate Idah Mupemo were businessman Fines Malambo, 46, Ackson Sejani, 63, Mazabuka Mayor Vincent Lilanda, 49, Choma Mayor Javern Simoloka, 45 and Veronica Munakasale Mukuni, 46, queen of the Mukuni Royal Establishment who stood charged with two counts of abduction.
Particulars of the offence are that on February 2 this year, the five accused persons jointly and whilst working together abducted the Hatembo siblings with intent to cause them to be secretly confined.
“In count 1 the accused persons are charged of abduction with intent to cause Pheluna Hatembo to be secretly confined contrary to section 256 of Penal Code 87 of the Laws of Zambia, while in count 2 the accused stands charged of abduction of Milton Hatembo with intent to cause him to be secretly confined contrary to section 256 of Penal Code 87 of the Laws of Zambia,” magistrate Mupemo read the charge, which all the accused denied.
The accused persons are being represented by Martha Mushipe of Mushipe and Associates, Cornelius Mweetwa of Muleza and Company, Marshal Muchende of M Associates, and Remmy Mainza of Mainza and Company.
In her ruling following the application for bail made by the accused’s lawyers, Magistrate Mupemo granted them bail on condition that each paid K10,000 on their own cognisance and availed two working sureties.
The State had earlier attempted to object to the bail application, citing that the accused might interfere with the witnesses.
The defence lawyers however countered that the charges against their clients were bailable and that all five accused were of fixed abode.
The matter has since been adjourned to May 6 for mention and May 17 for commencement of trial.