THE Lusaka Magistrates’ Court has issued a warrant of arrest against Lusaka lawyer Martha Mushipe for absconding court sessions in a matter where she is charged with seditious practices.
In this matter, Mushipe is alleged to have on unknown dates but between July 1, 2015 and April 11, 2016 in Lusaka, jointly and whilst acting together with other persons unknown and without lawful excuse, had in her possession seditious material namely “Strategy of domination, PF against opposition UPND 2015, 2016 and beyond-UPND at crossroads – transition or conflict / PF’s use of ethnic divide and rules as a means of maintaining political control in Zambia 2015-2016 and beyond” by General Tendai Muduli, Dr. Ngosa Simbyakula and Dydmus Mutasa.
However, when the matter up for continued trial before magistrate Felix Kaoma, Wednesday, Mushipe and her lawyer Keith Mweemba were not before court.
At this point, the State informed the court that no communication had been sent concerning their absence.
State prosecutor Noah Mwanza then applied to have a bench warrant issued against the accused, saying it was not the first time that Mushipe was not before court as she had done so during the mention of her case.
He urged the court to place the accused on a warrant of arrest so that she could be forced to appear before court.
In his ruling, magistrate Kaoma granted the State’s application and issued a warrant of arrest against Mushipe.
He then adjourned the matter to April 20 this year.
Last year, a State witness had admitted that the seditious document, which was allegedly found in possession of Mushipe, was downloaded from the Zambian Watchdog.
Arthur Shonga, a Zambia Police Senior Superintendent who led a team that went to search Mushipe’s law firm, further admitted that the police had to date not arrested anyone running the Zambian Watchdog in relation to the alleged ‘seditious’ document.
And former Bulletin and Record Magazine journalist Charles Mafa had testified that he came in possession the alleged ‘seditious document’ in February 2015, way before Mushipe had it.
Mafa said it was scary that some of the issues highlighted in the same document, detailing how PF had planned to use violence, tribal division among other things to win the 2016 elections, had actually come to pass.