The Lusaka Magistrates’ Court has committed three police officers, a PF member and a Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) inspector to the High Court for trial on aggravated robbery charges involving Sea food worth over K1 million.
In this matter the accused; Gift Kasaro 30, a politician of Meanwood Ibex; Nathan Kalaba, 37, a police officer of Kabangwe; Joseph Mwansa, 42, a police officer of Chilenje Police Camp; Simon George Kalenga, 52, an inspector of Kabwata site and service and Collins Chileshe, 52, a police officer of Sikanze Camp are charged with aggravated robbery and attempts at extortion.
Kasaro is also charged with personating a public officer, to which he pleaded not guilty.
In count one, the five are charged with aggravated robbery.
Particulars of the offence allege that on October 12, 2019 in the Lusaka, the five whilst armed with two AK 47 Rifles, stole 19 Boxes of Dry sea food valued at K1,124, 500, property of Allan Kabamba.
It is alleged that immediately before the time of such stealing they used or threatened to use actual violence to Amon Mwale in order to retain or prevent or overcome such resistance from it being stolen.
In count two, Kasaro is charged with personating public officers.
It is alleged that on October 12, 2019 in Lusaka, Kasaro whilst acting together with others unknown, falsely represented himself to Amon Mwale as a person employed by Zambia Bureau of Standards, a public office.
And in count three, the five are charged with attempts at Extortion.
It is alleged that on the same date, in Lusaka, the five whilst acting together and with intent to extort, solicited for K30,000 cash from Allan Kabamba.
The matter initially came up before chief resident magistrate Lameck Mwale yesterday for hearing of preliminary inquiry to establish whether Ak 47 riffles were used in the alleged crime, however, Public Prosecutor Juvenalis Kamutondole informed the court that certificates of committal to the High Court from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), were ready.
But defence lawyer Nicholas Chanda expressed concern in the manner his clients were indicted, saying when they were being warned and cautioned, the accused were not shown the AK47 riffles or the 19 boxes of sea food for which they are charged.
Chanda added that the State based its facts on assumptions as there was no evidence to show the accused.
He claimed that the said exhibits disappeared from Kabwata police station and that the food was already in Hong Kong.
“There is something the State is hiding. Why rush to bring the certificates of committal. If the State was being fair, they should have indicted the accused on allegations instead of what their superiors told them,” Chanda said.
Magistrate Mwale however committed the matter to the High Court for proceedings.
He said having received committal letters from the DPP, his hands were tied over the matter.