Lusaka magistrate Betty Malupenga this morning adjourned the treason case involving UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema, saying magistrate David Simusamba who was suspposed to handle it is unwell.
The development has left Hichilema and UPND supporters downcast.
The matter was scheduled for a ruling before magistrate Simusamba at 09:00 hours this morning on whether or not to refer the case to the High Court for trial or to allow a inquiry into the viability of the case.
But after waiting almost an hour for magistrate Simusamba to arrive, his counterpart magistrate Malupenga walked into the courtroom at 09:50 hours.
When HH’s case was called, she informed both state and prosecution lawyers that magistrate Simusamba was unwell and the case would be adjourned to Wednesday.
The defense team was visibly disappointed but through Jack Mwiimbu, accepted the adjournment.
“Your honor as you are aware as defense we were ready for today and the offense is non bailable and there is anxiety among our clients so we can do Wednesday morning,” said Mwiimbu.
HH’s supporters were heard complaining as they walked out of the courtroom, saying justice was being delayed.
However, the UPND sympathisers cheered him on as he was driven back to Lusaka Central Prison