The state has amended the indictment on the treason charge against Hakainde Hichilema, stating that the opposition leader wanted to declare himself President of the Republic of Zambia at the Kuomboka Ceremony in Mongu.
And HH has pleaded not guilty to the charges of obstructing the presidential motorcade and using insulting language.
Earlier, Lusaka magistrate Greenwell Malumani ruled that the state failed to state any overt act made by HH in order to overthrow the government.
Referring to the Shamwana case, Magistrate Malumani said the charge was clear and there was evidence of meetings held in planning the capture of then President Kaunda.
“In the light of the foregoing, the purported treason charge exists in a vacuum,” ruled magistrate Malumani, but clarified that the charge of treason could only be tried in the High Court.
He added that the subordinate court could not quash such an indictment but open an inquiry instead.
“It is of the opinion of this court that the charge has no substance to be submitted for trail,” he said.
Magistrate Malumani allowed the state submit a fresh indictment of treason against HH which would be heard in the High Court.
The State However produced the indictment accompanying other charges with an addition of overt acts committed by HH.
In Overt Act one, the state claimed that on April 5, 2017 HH together with others conspired to mobilise an advance party to ensure that he was to be accorded the status of President of the republic of Zambia at the Kuomboka Ceremony in Mongu.
In Overt Act two, the state submitted that on April 8, 2017, HH and over 60 other unknown people and being on a convoy of motor vehicles on the Mongu Limulunga Road did obstruct the presidential motorcade, an act that was likely to cause death or grievous harm to the President of the Republic of Zambia, in order to usurp the executive power of the state.
Magistrate Malumani said he could not allow the treason charge to be submitted jointly, but accepted the indictment and called for a break to study the details in chambers.
HH took advantage of the break to chat with his wife and other family members.
When the hearing resumed, the separated indictment was read out and HH pleaded not guilty to the charges of obstructing the presidential motorcade and using insulting language.
His co-accused also said they understood the charge but pleaded not guilty.