LUANSHYA Resident Magistrate John Mbauzi has granted K25,000 bail to UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema and his vice president Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba. This was after the two pleaded not guilty to one count of unlawful assembly for which they were jointly charged and seditious practices which they are separately charged. Having spent the night in police cells, the two leaders were transported to court under tight security in a closed prison van at 15:30 hours. A team of four lawyers led by Jack Mwiimbu represented the accused and the State prosecution team was led by Precious Mukuwa. Hichilema, 54, of house number 14/3 A Serial road, Kabulonga in Lusaka, is in count one charged with seditious practices contrary to section 57 (b) (I) and (j) of the Penal Code CAP 87 of the laws of Zambia. Particulars of the offence are that Hichilema on 26 September 2016 in Mpongwe district of the Copperbelt Province allegedly conspired with others unknown to bring into hatred, incite violence, resistance and disobedience to the administration of the elected Government of Zambia by uttering words namely “nga taba mufumishe matambo epo ulubuli lwalatapila”. In count two, it is alleged that Mwamba on 26 September 2016 in Mmpongwe conspired with others unknown to bring into hatred, incite violence, resistance and disobedience to the administration of the elected Government of Zambia by uttering seditious words, namely “ifwe pano nga ba UPND tufwile twakana iyi Government yakwa Lungu, nga bamyeba ati kuli ama meeting yaba Lungu mulekana pantu president wesu ni HH”. In count three, Hichilema and Bwalya are alleged to have unlawfully assembled a meeting contrary to section 57 as read with 74 of the Penal Code and regulations 5 (4) of the Public Order Act. Particulars of the offence are that the two on 26th September 2016 in Mpongwe district jointly, and whilst acting together with others unknown, did assemble unlawfully with intent to carry out some common purpose without notifying the regulatory office. The court entered plea of not guilty and gave conditions that the duo could only be granted bail upon meeting the following conditions: settlement of the bail sum, presenting two working sureties based on the Copperbelt and proof of such employment. Magistrate Mbuzi indicated that the accused will be placed in police custody until bail conditions were met. By press time, lawyers to the accused were making front efforts to meet the court conditions as the accused remained in court.