MMD president Nevers Mumba and seven other party officials were yesterday remanded at Kamfinsa State Prison after they appeared in a Kitwe magistrate's court on a charge of unlawful assembly.
Mumba 52, of 17C Middle Way Kabulonga in Lusaka is jointly charged with four Members of Parliament (MPs), two MMD officials and a peasant farmer.
They were arrested on Monday as they were arriving in Kalulushi from Lufwanyama and detained at Kitwe East police station.
The MPs are Howard Kunda 37 of Muchinga, Masaiti's Michael Katambo 43, Lufwanyama lawmaker Annie Chungu 55, and James Chishiba 57, of Kafulafuta Constituency.
Others are MMD deputy national secretary Chembe Nyangu 57 and Copperbelt provincial women chairperson Edith Mataka 59 years old. Greenford Kalinda 53, a peasant farmer is also charged along with the MMD officials.
Defence lawyer Irene Kunda explained that the accused persons could not be released immediately because the processing of bail took long and that they had to be taken to Kamfinsa before lock up time.
Ms Kunda said the process would be completed today.
Mumba and his party officials are alleged to have taken part in an unlawful assembly on Monday this week.
They all pleaded not guilty before Principal Resident Magistrate Penjani Lamba.
The accused persons, who were all arrested on Monday, were taken to court from Kitwe East police station yesterday around 13:30 hours amid tight security.
And the court has granted all of them a bail of K2 million each in their own recognisance.
The bail conditions further indicated that each accused person should raise two sureties, also in the sum of K2million each in their own recognisance. One surety should be from a well established institution.
Ms Lamba granted bail after an application from lawyer representing the accused persons Irene Kunda.
In her application, Ms Kunda told the court that the offence was a bailable, misdemeanour and that all the accused persons were of fixed abode.
She said the accused persons were Zambians, prominent people in society and there was no possibility of them running away.
Provincial Prosecutions officer Anderson Simbuliani did not object to the bail application while the matter would come up on December 24 for mention and January 12, next year for trial.
Meanwhile, CHILA NAMAIKO and KAIKO NAMUSA report that opposition MPs yesterday protested at State House in Lusaka over the arrest of Dr Mumba and other MMD officials.
Opposition parliamentarians walked out of Parliament and drove to State House in an attempt to seek audience with President Michael Sata.
MMD vice president Michael Kaingu and United Party for National Development spokesperson Charles Kakoma who led other opposition MPs, arrived at State House around 15:30hours but were met by a heavy presence of police.
Mr Kaingu told journalists that the MPs were not happy with the arrest of their colleagues and that Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini was also not noticed about the arrests of their co0llegues.