A COURTROOM at Lusaka Magistrates’ Court was yesterday turned into a wailing and weeping hall by the 14 church members of Jesus Soul Winning Ministries and their relatives after the magistrate read out the three charges they are facing.
Immediately the magistrate read all the charges, the accused broke into uncontrollable wailing and weeping which brought court business to a halt.
The lawyer for the 14 church members, Oscar Mudenda, and court staff had a hard time calming them down.
This was when the 14 appeared before magistrate Kenneth Mulife for explanation of their charges at the magistrates court.
Magistrate Mulife explained that in count one Bishop Kayanda and others have been charged with aggravated robbery contrary to the law of Zambia. He said that on September 25 this year Bishop Rose Kayanda, 52, of house no. 3954, Makeni West in Lusaka, jointly and while acting together with others stole K4,000 and property worth 4,196 from Magistrate Exilda Chanda.
He said Bishop Kayanda and others used or attempted to use violence to attack Ms Chanda while armed with stones, steel bars and plunks and stole a chitenge wrapper and a pair of shoes.
In the second count, Magistrate Mulife said Bishop Kayanda and others are charged with aggravated assault contrary to the laws of Zambia.
He said on September 25 this year Bishop Kayanda and others while armed with stones, steel bars and plunks assaulted Mr Robinson Chanda with intent to steal.
Magistrate Mulife said in count three Bishop Kayanda with the others are charged with malicious damage to property contrary to the laws of Zambia.
It is alleged that Bishop Kayanda jointly and while acting together with the others on September 25 this year destroyed 200 blocks, three spades, 10 pockets of cement, two wheelbarrows and smashed one windscreen for a Hummer vehicle worth K72, 000.
Asked whether they understood all the charges, Bishop Kayanda and others answered in the affirmative. Magistrate Mulife told them the magistrates court has no jurisdiction to handle the case and that the matter would be taken referred to the High Court for commencement of the trial.
He said while the magistrates court would wait for instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to commit the matter to the High Court, Bishop Kayanda and the 13others would remanded in custody.
Magistrate Mulife, however, said Bishop Kayanda and others would continue appearing in court until a go-ahead was given.
It was at this stage that some of the accused persons wept and wailed and they were joined by their relations on the benches.