State challenge GBM application in violence charge case


By Nation Reporter


THE State has asked the Lusaka Magistrates Court in a matter in which UPND vice president for administration Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba (GBM) is charged with proposing violence, to dismiss the defence’s application to refer the matter to the Constitutional Court or quash the indictment.

The State argued that this was because there were no constitutional issues that needed interpretation by the High Court.

State prosecutor Dennis Manda argued that the indictment was not in any way unconstitutional nor was it couched in a manner that was arbitrary and unjusfiable.

Mr Manda said the indictment was simple and clear and did not need any constitutional interpretation as no constitutional issues had arisen, adding that there were no creases in Section 91 (1) which needed ironing or on the basis of which the court should refer the matter for constitutional determination.

Mr Manda submitted that Section 91 (1) of the Penal Code should be given its ordinary meaning as it was trite law that the primary rule of interpretation was that the words should be given their ordinary grammatical and natural meaning unless issues of ambiguity arose.

He submitted that the accused’s application was riddled with ‘‘fishing expeditions’’ intended to delay the speedy and just determination of the matter.

Mr Manda submitted that it that case, recourse could be had to the other principles of interpretation.

Mr Manda submitted that it was his prayer that the court should dismiss the application as it was frivolous and vexatious.

Earlier defence lawyers, led by Mr Jack Mwiimbu, submitted in writing that there was nothing that GBM said or did to imply or express an intention to inflict injury on President Lungu.

They said Section 91 (1) was just being used by the State through the police to antagonise the accused which should not be the case in a democratic society where the freedoms of expression, assembly and association were paramount.

The defence argued that the indictment was outside the permissible derogates provided under the Constitution as read together with the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act no. 2.

They submitted that the court was obligated to refer the matter to the Constitutional Court for interpretation and determination of its constitutionality.