Trial has failed to commence in a matter in which 11 UPND cadres are accused of conducting themselves in a manner likely to cause breach of peace.
Proceedings could not progress yesterday as the docket was not before court when the matter came up before Lusaka Magistrate Albert Mwaba.
The matter has since been adjourned to February 10, this year, for commencement of trial.
In this matter, the 11 UPND supporters are charged with idle and disorderly persons.
They had however, pleaded not guilty to the charge and were granted bail.
The accused persons in this matter are: Auckland Katamanga, 38, a general worker of Kafue; Habinga Mainza,30, a security guard of John Laing; Marco Siyabukulu, 27, a chef of Ng’ombe Township; Joseph Mbuzi, 38, unemployed of Kalingalinga; Edwin Louis, 32, a businessman of Kaunda square stage one and Kamanga Siambilu, 41, a bricklayer of Kalingalinga.
Others are Peter Musoka, 34, a general worker of Kanyama; Briston Simuyendo, 21, a general worker of Mtendere; Charles Musonda, 45, a bus driver of Garden side area; Ganizani Moonga, 39, a salesman of Chalala and Chrispine Chipango, 46, a bricklayer of Bauleni.
It is alleged that on December 23, 2020, in Lusaka, the accused persons jointly and whilst acting together at a public place namely along independence avenue, conducted themselves in a manner likely to cause breach of peace.
When the matter came up for commencement of trial before Magistrate Mwaba, Monday, all the accused persons were before court.
Five State witnesses ( all police officers) were also present.
However, a State Prosecutor informed the court that the State was unable to proceed with trial as the docket was not before court.
“Your honour, because of this we seek a short adjournment,” the prosecutor said.
The defence did not object to the application for an adjournment.
The matter comes up on February 10, this year, for trial.
20 UPND cadres were arrested on December 23, last year, on the day UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema was being questioned by the Police.
Hichilema was being questioned over the purchase of a piece of land in Kalomo district belonging to late Samson Siatembo, which allegedly occured in 2004.
The police further impounded three buses which were carrying the said cadres.
Two lives were also lost on the same day.
Public prosecutor Nsama Nsama and UPND sympathiser Joseph Kaunda were shot dead near NPA offices as police officers dispersed the UPND supporters who had gone to offer solidarity to Hichilema.
The 20 UPND cadres have been split into two groups and will be appearing in two different courts.
Nine of the 20 are appearing before Lusaka Magistrate Felix Kaoma, while the other 11 are before Magistrate Mwaba.