There was commotion, panic and hysteria at the Magistrate Court when a car ploughed into a crowd of (UPND) supporters injuring one of them seriously.
And UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema has described the incident as a suicide mission aimed at causing mayhem on his supporters.
Last week, lawyers representing Mr Hichilema raised their serious concern with Magistrate Aridah Chulu over the hostile environment after they were harassed and prevented from entering the court by police officers. The matter was subsequently adjourned.
Justin Mwelwa believed to have been recently employed by government revved the Toyota Alteza registration number ALK 7801 and drove straight into the huge crowd of UPND supporters injuring nine much to the shock of the police officers who had been manning the gates of the main entrance to the Magistrate courts.
As Mr Mwewa attempted to get away, he rammed into a stationary vehicle belonging to UPND deputy general secretary Kuchunga Simusamba.
It took the personal efforts of William Banda and the police officers to restrain the UPND supporters from meting instant justice on the driver of the car suspected to be a PF cadre.Mr Hichilema was before a magistrate in a case in which he has been accused of causing the publication of false news with intent to cause fear and alarm among citizens.
Magistrate Court security personnel told the Daily Nation that Justin Mwewa was recently employed as a security guard at the court.
Mwewa is said to have been instructed by a state prosecutor identified as Kennedy Mulozela to move his Toyota Alteza car from inside the Magistrate Court premises to some other place but instead decided to drive straight into the crowd of UPND supporters injuring 9 in the process with two serious hurt.Of the nine who were hit by the car, two, Douglas Phiri and Charles Banda were critically injured while the rest including Catharine Phiri from Kanyama Township sustained minor bruises.
Mr Mwewa was immediately arrested by the police and detained at the Magistrate police cells.
And the case in which Mr Hichilema has been accused of causing the publication of false news with intent to cause fear and alarm was forced to adjourn because of the hostile atmosphere at the Magistrate Court.Magistrate Aridah Chulu was forced to adjourn the case to 3rd July 2014 after Mr Hichilema’s lawyers complained of a hostile environment in the court premises. And Mr Hichilema has described the act by Mr Mwewa as nothing but a suicide mission aimed at harming supporters of the opposition political party.Mr Hichilema said it was sad that political hooliganism and barbarism had been taken to the court premises where citizens were seeking justice.
“What has happened is sad and what makes the matter more frightening is that it has happened inside the Magistrate Court premises where citizens come to seek justice. This is political and is sad that a PF cadre could embark on such a suicide mission and drive into a crowd of citizens with the sole purpose of causing mayhem. He did so in the presence of the police officers and this is what I call a complete breakdown in the rule of law. nine members of our party have been injured and we hope that we shall not lose lives as a result of this kind of barbarism,” Mr Hichilema said.Mr Hichilema has called on Zambians and the international community to seriously reflect on the political situation in the country stating that citizens were no longer free to express themselves under the PF administration.
Meanwhile, political activist Dante Saunders has charged that the life of Mr Hichilema was in danger and has advised the UPND to stop taking their leader into places where his security was not guaranteed.Mr Saunders who rushed to the UPND secretariat after he was informed of the tragic incedene at the Magistrate Court said Mr Hichilema was the most wanted and loathed opposition political leader and that the party should intensify his security for the sake of peace and harmony in the country.
He said the PF was working at making the UPND react to the continued harassment of its members and leaders so that President Sata could declare a state of emergency and knock out his contenders from the 2016 presidential race.
Mr Saunders has called on Zambians to forgive Mr Mwewa for his action but has demanded that those that sent him (Mwewa) should never be forgiven and that soon, time would when they would have to atone for their barbarism.