SUSPENDED Patriotic Front Eastern Province youth chairperson Emmanuel Banda, commonly known as Jay Jay, yesterday appeared before the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court in a case in which he is accused of assaulting a police officer with intent to steal.

Meanwhile, there was a heavy presence of Zambia Police officers, who were securing the Court complex ahead of the said case.

In this matter, Banda, who was on a wheelchair, is jointly-charged with four others with one count of aggravated assault with intent to steal.

The accused persons in this matter are Banda, 35, a businessman of Petauke, Eastern Province; John Lungu, 26, a general worker of Garden House, Lusaka; Maxwell Pito, 20, a peasant farmer of Lusaka West; Moses Silyonde, 27, unemployed of Kanyama and Lyford Phiri, 21, unemployed, of unknown residential address.

It is alleged that on July 6, 2020 in Lusaka, the five jointly and whilst acting together with others unknown and with intent to steal, assaulted Allan Mbahwe at Lusaka Central Police Station.

Banda is being represented by lawyers Jonas Zimba, Osborne Ngoma and James Matarilo.

At the previous sitting, Lusaka Chief Resident Magistrate Lameck Mwale ordered the police commanding officer in Chipata to ensure that Banda appeared before him.

When the matter came up for explanation of the charge before Magistrate Mwale, Thursday, the five accused persons said they understood the charge after it was explained to them.

At this point, Magistrate Mwale informed them that they would not take plea as the charge they are facing is only triable by the High Court.

“You shall not take plea in this case because it is tried by the High Court,” he said.

However, State prosecutor Stuyvesant Malambo said the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had not yet issued a Certificate of Committal to the High Court for trial and further proposed that the matter comes up for mention on September 25, this year.

But Magistrate Mwale wondered why the Certificate of Committal was not yet ready when the State was aware that the matter had been delayed.

The State could not, however, give an explanation on why the instructions to commit the accused persons to the High Court had been delayed.

Magistrate Mwale then adjourned the matter to September 25.

Banda is also facing another case of unlawful assembly in the Chipata Magistrates’ Court.