About 13 members of the Leadership Movement (LM) party, amongst them, party president Richard Silumbe and secretary general Brown Sinyangwe have appeared in the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court for allegedly being in possession of 54 machetes, six High Power Stun guns and 13 short buttons.

The 13, who have been charged with one count of possession of offensive weapons or materials, have also been granted K5,000 cash bail each.

The accused persons in this matter include: Silumbe, 38, a surgeon of Woodlands; Sinyangwe, 24, secretary general of the party; Yamikani Zulu, 37, security guard; Finod Mukubesa, 38, a security guard of Chawama; Gilbert Daka, 37, a Kamwala South truck driver and Isaac Chibuye, 24, unemployed of Kalingalinga.

Others include: Lazarus Zimba, a 47-year-old businesman of John Laing; Edward Chicheleko, a 27-year-old security guard of Matero; Dismas Chanda, a 27-year-old minibus driver of Kamwala South; Amos Tembo, a 28-year-old minibus driver of Kamwala South; Elias Banda a 27-year-old driver of Kanyama; Joseph Chimwendo, a 29-year-old artist of Kanyama site and service and Prella Chinga, 30, of Chinika area.

Particulars of the offence allege that Zulu, Mukubesa, Daka, Chibula, Zimba, Chicheleko, Chanda, Tembo, Banda, Chimwendo, Chinga, Sinyangwe and Silumbe, on October 14, this year in Lusaka, jointly and whilst acting together and without lawful excuse had in their possession offensive weapons namely 54 Machetes, six High Power Stun guns and 13 Short Buttons.

And when the matter came up, Monday, chief resident magistrate Lameck Mwale explained the charge to them and they all said they understood it.

At this point, magistrate Mwale informed the accused persons that they would not take plea because the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had not yet issued consent of prosecution in the matter.

Magistrate Mwale said the accused persons would continue appearing for mention awaiting the said instructions.

At this point, the accused persons, through their lawyers Phil Muya of Keith Mweemba and Advocates and Alex Chileshe applied for bail pending trial stating that they would abide by the court’s conditions.

The State did not object to the application for bail but asked the court to compel the accused persons to avail proof of residence.

Magistrate Mwale then granted the accused cash bail in the sum of K5,000 each and ordered them to provide two working sureties who would be bound in the sum of K30,000 in their own recognizance.

The matter comes up on November 11, this year, for mention and possible plea.

Recently, Police in Lusaka apprehended 11 people for being in possession of offensive weapons.

Acting Inspector General of Police Eugene Sibote told journalists at a media briefing that police recovered 55 machetes, six tezars, 17 walkie talkie radios, 29 boxes of registration forms for Leadership Movement Party under the leadership of a Richard Silumbwe, seven black berets, 13 black shot buttons, and 11 pairs of black combat uniforms labeled LM.

Sibote said the suspects were camped in an unfinished building in Lusaka’s Chalala area.

“In the same vein, I wish to inform the nation that, yesterday, 14th October, 2019 at about 14:00 hours, we apprehended 11 male persons for the offence of being in possession of offensive weapons. This was following information from concerned members of the public that they had spotted some people camped in an unfinished building in Lusaka’s Chalala area,” said Sibote.