United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema has pleaded not guilty to one charge of proposing violence contrary to the laws of Zambia in the Livingstone Magistrate Court.
Appearing on yesterday morning before Magistrate Chinkashi Chilingala to retake his plea after the matter was reallocated to another court the UPND leader Hichilema of house number 1438 Sebal Road, Kabulonga, Lusaka pleaded not guilty to one count of proposing violence contrary to section 91 (a) sub-section 1 (a)(b) of the penal code chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia.
Statement of the offence is that on February 25, 2013 in Livingstone, Hichilema issued a statement on Radio Zambezi FM which was meant to incite his supporters to act in a manner which could result into violence.
After taking a plea of not guilty, the state applied for an adjournment to a later date stating that some of the accused’s defence lawyers were unavailable.
Hichilema’s only available lawyer when the matter came up was Fredrick Chuunga of Silweya and Company of Livingstone who applied for an adjournment to the 11th and 12th February 2014 for commencement of trial.
Chuunga told the court that one of the lawyers Jack Mwimbu of Mwimbu Muleza and Company was unwell as he has a fractured arm sustained in a road accident.
He further told the court that the UPND leader whom he described before the court as a ‘community worker’ would be busy until January 10, 2014 as he will be attending to some by-elections.
“Your honour, we have reasons which are leading to the application before this court. The first reason is that one of the lawyers Jack Mwimbu was involved in a road accident and today (Friday) he is going for an operation. The second reason is that our client who is a community worker will be busy as he will be attending to some by-elections and he will be appearing in other courts in Lusaka and Namwala,” he said.