Republican Progressive Party (RPP) leader James Lukuku has asked the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court for time to engage a lawyer in a matter in which he is charged with sedition and expressing hatred or contempt against Chinese nationals due to their race.

In this matter, it is alleged in the first count that Lukuku between November 1 and 5, 2018 did utter a seditious speech titled ‘Kitwe riots against China are welcome, let us multiply these riots a million fold’. The said statement was circulated to five WhatsApp groups.

In the second count, Lukuku is alleged to have uttered words and published writings, expressing and showing hatred for Chinese nationals because of their race and place of origin when he allegedly issued the statement in which he called for people to protest against the Chinese influence in Zambia.

He had pleaded not guilty.

When the matter came up before Lusaka Chief Resident Magistrate Lameck Mwale, Wednesday, Lukuku informed the court that he needed some time to look for a lawyer looking at the magnitude of the case.

He said he had not yet concluded negotiations with counsel Nicolas Chanda, adding that he was also in the process of seeking counsel from Hobday Kabwe law firm.

However, the court wondered why Lukuku had not yet found a lawyer when the matter had already been brought to court.

Magistrate Mwale asked Lukuku if he had considered engaging Legal Aid for representation.

He then adjourned the matter to June 28, this year, for trail when the State did not object to an application for an adjournment despite being ready to proceed with trial with one witness.

Matter comes up on June 28, 2019 for trial.