THE Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has entered a nolle prosequi in a matter in which outgoing UPND deputy secretary general Patrick Mucheleka and four others were charged with malicious damage to property.
The proceedings which were before the Kasama Magistrates’ Court have since been discontinued against them.
However, Mucheleka says he is not happy with the nolle that has been entered in their favour, adding that he wanted to be acquitted because he never committed any offence.
In this matter, Mucheleka was jointly charged with Elias Mubanga, Samuel Ngwira, Chinyimba Bwalya and Kelvin Bwalya with malicious damage to property contrary to the laws of Zambia.
It was alleged that Mucheleka, Mubanga, Ngwira, Chinyimba and Kelvin on September 13, 2020 in Kasama, jointly and whilst acting together, willfully and unlawfully damaged two type writers and kiosk printer all valued at K83,097, the property of the Department of National Registration, Passport and Citizenship of the Republic of Zambia.
However, when the matter came up for continued trial in the Kasama Magistrate Court, Thursday morning, the State informed Magistrate Mwansa Chibalo that the DPP had entered a nolle prosequi in the matter and that the proceedings against the accused persons were discontinued.
The court discharged the accused persons in light of the nolle.
Mucheleka and the others were arrested in September last year during the Lukashya Parliamentary by-election.
The five were initially charged with aggravated robbery and malicious damage to property but the aggravated robbery charge was dropped by way of a nolle prosequi which was entered earlier.
Mucheleka and the four others were represented by Mulambo Haimbe and Kamuwanga Phiri of Malambo and Company.
But in an interview, Mucheleka said he was not happy with the nolle that had been entered in their favour as he wanted to be acquitted.
He added that it was an abuse of the court process by whoever gave instructions for his arrest over an offence he never committed.
“I’m not happy with the nolle at all. I wanted to be acquitted because I never committed any offence. It is actually abuse of the court process by whoever gave instructions for me to be arrested for an offence I never committed. I’m very annoyed, I’m very bitter. Whoever gave instructions to the police officers to arrest me is the one who has caused me and my colleagues to endure the pain that I have been able to go through. It is not a good experience. It is not something that I wished even even for my enemy, if at all I have any enemy,” Mucheleka said.
“It is a lesson to the people of Zambia that we must never accept for anyone who holds the instruments of power to continue abusing our men and women in uniform to go and arrest innocent people who never committed any offences. That is very unfortunate and must not be allowed. The only crime that I and my friends (co-accused) committed was merely to participate in a by-election as required by the Constitution, part three of the Bill of Rights; freedom of association, freedom of assembly. They concocted lies that I destroyed government property, that I carried out aggravated robbery. All that was meant to put my good name to shame and subject me to public ridicule which is painful.”
Meanwhile, Mucheleka expressed gratitude to the people that had supported him and his colleagues.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank my family, the president of our party UPND, our members across the country and people who have supported us at the time we have been going through these things. I’m very humbled. And I also express my heartfelt solidarity to honourable Romeo Kang’ombe who had travelled to come and support me here but in the process he ended up being arrested and is also going through trial in Mpika,” said Mucheleka.