A POLICE officer has testified how some suspected UPND supporters who had gone to offer solidarity to party president Hakainde Hichilema were apprehended after they allegedly blocked roads on Independence Avenue thereby disturbing other road users.
However, when the officer was asked during cross-examination if there was anything unlawful about a person finding themselves on a public road where the accused persons were found, he said no.
Maybin Gunduza, a 43-year-old chief inspector at Lusaka Division Police Station was testifying in a matter where nine UPND cadres are accused of conducting themselves in a manner likely to cause breach of peace.
The nine are charged with idle and disorderly persons, but they all pleaded not guilty.
The accused persons in this matter are; Eddy Nawa, a driver of Kabwata Cultural village; Sydney Ngulube of Bauleni; John Wilima of Zalimuone; Nelson Banda of Kabanana; Willington Mwanza; Henry Mutale of Bauleni; Levy Malilwa of Matero; John Kashikoto and Nicholas Matongo.
They are alleged to have on December 23, 2020, in Lusaka, jointly and whilst acting together, conducted themselves in a manner likely to cause breach of peace at a public place namely, along independence avenue.
When the matter came up for commencement of trial before Magistrate Felix Kaoma, Tuesday, Gunduza told the Court that on the material day, he was picked by his supervisor who informed him that they were going to have duties at Police Headquarters where Hichilema was summoned for questioning.
The witness said between 10:00 and 11:00 hours, a group of suspected UPND cadres arrived to offer solidarity to Hichilema.
Gunduza, however, added that the said cadres blocked the road between the High Court and Cabinet office, thereby, disturbing other road users.
He further said during the process, he and his group apprehended five and took them to Kabwata Police Station.
“Those apprehended are accused number two, three, six, seven and eight,” Gunduza said.
But in cross-examination, defence lawyer Mulambo Haimbe asked the witness if the accused persons were violent at the time, but Gunduza responded in the negative, before adding that the accused persons were unruly.
Also asked whether there was anything unlawful about a person finding themselves on a public road where the accused were found, Gunduza said no.
The matter comes up on March 19, 2021, for continued trial.