Zambia: Hichilema Granted Bail

UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema has been granted bail of KR2000 in his own recognisance and two sureties living in Livingstone.

Mr Hichilema was arrested on Tuesday in the tourist capital and appeared before acting principal resident magistrate Chola Musonda yesterday.

Hichilema, 50, of House Number 1438 Servel Road in Lusaka pleaded not guilty to the charge of proposing violence, contrary to the Laws of Zambia.

Hichilema's defence counsels consisted of Fredrick Chunga of Silweya and Company, Jack Mwiimbu of Mwiimbu and Company, Solomon Muzyamba of Muzyamba and Company as well as John Kapepe Jr of MAK partners in Livingstone.

The statement of offence is that on February 25, 2013 in Livingstone, Hichilema issued a statement on Radio Zambezi FM which was meant to compute or stimulate his supporters to act in a manner which can result into violence.

Earlier, in court when the matter came up for plea, Southern Province police chief, who is also a State Advocate Charity Katanga, made an application before magistrate Musonda to change the venue and transfer the case so that it can be heard in Kalomo, citing security concerns and that the accused may tamper with witnesses, which was, however, rejected.

However, objecting to the application, one of the defence lawyers, Mr Chunga told the court that it was not appropriate for the State prosecution team to make such an application before the accused has taken his plea.

Another lawyer Mr Mwimbu told the court that the application could only be made after the accused takes his plea and that the prosecution should cite the law pertaining to the case.

In response, Ms Katanga said the matter could then proceed and that the application would be made later after the accused had taken his plea.

Mr Hichilema will appear for mention on March 27 and April 25, 2013, while trial dates have been set for the 26th, 27th and 28th of May.

Meanwhile, before the same court, Brina Mulenga and seven others who are charged with the murder of the late Chanda also appeared for reading of the case and magistrate Musonda told the accused to wait for the case to be heard by the High Court.

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