Confusion reigned at the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court this morning, as UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema who has been acquitted of using insulting language, was moved to another courtroom to appear for the treason charge.
Right after magistrate Greenwell Mulumani freed HH on the insulting charge, ecstatic UPND cadres erupted in jubilation inside and outside court 11 and surged towards court 5 where Magistrate David Simusamba was expected to make a ruling on the viability of the treason charge.
At court 5, police officers blocked the entrance causing a push and pull situation which lasted over 20 minutes.
Some members of the UPND security team had to brutally push away other party supporters and journalists to pave way for HH’s wife Mutinta to enter court 5.
After Mutinta and some lawyers managed to enter the courtroom, police closed the doors and attempted to chase some people who were seated in the gallery.
Whilst some were brutally pushed out, others argued with the police officers causing commotion in the courtroom. One woman was resilient and resisted being shoved out of the courtroom, attracting the lawyers attention who then advised the police to leave all those who were already sitting as they could be witnesses in another case.
Others who were affected were lawyers from both the prosecution and the defense as well as politicians like Charles Milupi and Mike Mulongoti among others.
Magistrate Simusamba is expected to hear explanations from HH’s arresting officer Mbita Mpazi and another senior officer Arthur Shonga, on why they should not be cited for contempt for refusing to return motor vehicles to HH’s house, which were seized without a seizure notice.