LUSAKA magistrate Rodger Kaoma has urged the State to speed up the assault case involving former Lusaka Province MMD chairperson, William Banda and four others.
Banda, Patrick Chungu, Somili Mushiku, Simon Banda and Sebastian Mainde are facing four counts of assault and unlawful wounding.
Mr Kaoma said when the matter came up for mention and fixing of trial dates yesterday that he would not accept a situation where the matter takes a year before being concluded.
He said the State had indicated being ready with witnesses and wondered why the trial date was being extended.
This was after the prosecution informed the court that the continued trial should resume on July 3, this year while Banda and others would appear for mention on June 21, this year.
Mr Kaoma has since adjourned the matter.
In count one, Banda and four others are charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
It is alleged that the five on September 3, last year in Chongwe, assaulted Priscilla Ndhlovu thereby occasioning her actual bodily harm.
In count two, they allegedly assaulted Andrew Lombe thereby occasioning him actual bodily harm while in the third count they are alleged to have assaulted Precious Malama.
In count four, they are charged with unlawful wounding of Lackson Kabimbi.
Chongwe Member of Parliament Slyvia Masebo had testified how Banda who has now defected to the United Party for National Development (UPND) allegedly instructed MMD cadres to cause confusion and assault Chongwe residents.
Two of Banda's co-accused Mushiku and Mainde are remanded in prison on a charge of murder that took place during the run up to the elections involving a mini bus driver Isaac Mbewe.