Police to seal off Magistrate Court

The United Party for National Development (UPND)  has uncovered a plot in which some Patriotic Front (PF) cadres were planning to disrupt and cause mayhem at todays hearing of Hakainde Hichilema’s case.

Lawyers representing Mr Hichilema yesterday sought and secured an appointmrnt with presiding magistrate Aridah Chulu to express their concern that armed PF cadres intended to cause anarchy at the Magistrate Court this morning.

The laywers were concerned that such violence would undermine the judicial proceedings which had the potential to disturb peace and  as a result instructions have been issued for the court premises to be sealed to ensure that cadres were not allowed to into the premises.

On May 5, 2014 police harassed Mr Hichilema’s lawyers and other UPND officials and were prevented from entering court premises forcing Magistrate Chulu to adjourn the case.

The case could not proceed after HH lawyers complained of harassment.

PF cadres who accompaned secreatry general Wynter Kabimba who was expected to testify clashed with UPND cadres who attended the session in solidarity with HH.

One of the PF officials undertook to prepare adequatly for today’s hearing.

At the hearing, Mr Hichilema is expected to challenge the contitutionality of the charge leveled against him in a case in which he has been accused of causing the publication of false information with intent to cause fear and alarm contrary to section 67 of the Penal Code under which he is charged.

Mr Hichilema’s motion states that he had been  informed by his lawyer Mr Marshal Muchende that the Magistrate Court recently refered section 67 of the Penal Code to the High Court under Article 28 of the Constitutition in the case of  The People v MacDonald Chipenzi, Richard Sakala and Simon Mwanza

He  argues that while the case of  MacDonal Chipenzi ET AL charged under the same section was  transferred to the High Court for determination of constitutional issues raised, it was only fair that his case  too was treated in the similar manner.Mr Hichilema says it would be unfair and discriminatory for the Magistrates Court to continue hearing his case under section 67 when the same law had been referred to the High Court in a case in which Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) executive director MacDonald Chipenzi, Daily Nation proprietor Richard Sakala and his production editor Simon Mwanza have been charged under the same law.

Mr Hichilema said that he found it suitable that his case should be referred to the High Court for the determination of serious constitutional issues that had arisen from section 67 of the Penal Code.He said in the case of Mr Chipenzi, Mr Sakala and Mr Mwanza, Magistrate Lameck Mwale who was hearing the case referred the matter to the High Court and that it would only be legally proper that his case too be taken to the same court because he was charged under the same law that was being challenged in the High Court.