THE Supreme Court has stayed criminal proceedings against opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema.
Supreme Court judge Munyinda Wanki directed yesterday that the criminal proceedings against Mr Hachilema be stayed pending determination of the Constitutional issues currently before the High Court.
This is means that the criminal proceedings which the opposition leader is facing before the magistrate's court will not go ahead today.
Mr Justice Wanki has since set January 24 this year as the date for hearing of the application on behalf of Mr Hichilema to set aside judgment.
Mr Hichilema is charged with publication of false news contrary to the Laws of Zambia.
Through his lawyers he applied before Chief Resident Magistrate Joshua Banda for Constitutional reference of the indictment for the determination of the Constitutionality of the provision of penal code. Mr Banda tuned down the application
Mr Hichilema on January 11, 2013 however, appealed to the High Court to stay the criminal proceedings against him but the matter was thrown out.
In another development, a witness yesterday told a Lusaka magistrate's court that former Mines minister Maxwell and his Permanent Secretary Godwin Beene got annoyed when he informed them that there was overlapping of mining licenses issues to Zhongui International Mining Industry Group Limited and two others.
Gerald Chilumbu 54, a chief mining engineer in the ministry of Mines told the court that Mwale and Beene got upset when he informed them after the mining advisory committee meeting he chaired on June 2, 2011 that there was overlapping of mining licenses issues to Zhuo, Kelvin Mulumbwa and Alfred Malunga.
He said Zhongui was issued with the license after Kelvin Mulumbwa and Alfred Malunga had already been issued with licenses and that is what resulted in the overlapping.
This is in a matter in which Mwale is facing two counts of abuse of authority and receiving property suspected of being proceeds of crime.
Mwale is jointly charged with Zhongui International Mining Industry Group Limited.