AN arresting officer has insisted that the court should not grant the five suspected PF cadres accused of proposing violence bail as they are of no fixed abode and may be difficult to locate.
This is a matter in which Kassim Lungu, 22, a carpenter; Joseph Besa, a taxi driver; Justine Chanda, 20, a carpenter; Joseph Chanda, 20, a bricklayer and James Sikalumbi, 19, all from Chazanga township are charged with one count of proposing violence or breaches of the law to assembly contrary to the laws of Zambia.
It is alleged that the five between January 1, 2019 and July 20, 2021 in Lusaka, jointly and whilst acting together with persons unknown, proposed violence to the general public by means of capturing themselves in a video whilst armed with machetes and wooden planks.
The five, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Last week, Magistrate Jennifer Bwalya reserved ruling on the bail application made by the accused persons as she wanted to hear from the arresting officer on the possibility of locating the five in the event that they were granted bail.
And when the matter came up, Tuesday, the arresting officer in the matter, detective inspector Masautso Hangula, 42, told the court that he was in support of the state’s objection to grant the accused persons bail.
He explained that during the time they tried to apprehend the accused persons, the officers faced some resistance from members of the public.
“It was very difficult to locate and find the accused persons and we had a challenge apprehending them after we discovered where they were staying. This is because we faced some resistance from the members of the public within the community where they live whereby our lives were almost put in danger until the whole Lusaka division police command beefed up the numbers. That’s how we were successful,” Hangula said.
He added that the accused persons were of no fixed abode and that their ring leader was still at large.
When given an opportunity to ask the arresting officer questions, one of the accused person, Lungu, questioned why the officer did not get details from their parents in order to find out where they lived.
Hangula responded saying he did not see any parents visit the police station after they were apprehended and that he was not aware that the accused persons had parents.
Besa on the other hand asked the officer whether or not he arrested him from home to which the officer responded that he did not know whether it was his home as there was no house number at the said house.
When Besa further asked why he wasn’t allowed to call his parents after his arrest, Hangula responded saying the parents should have followed up the matter at the police station, which they did not.
And accused number three, Justin Chanda asked Hangula whether or not anyone blocked them from apprehending him, in response, Hangula said at the time, they had no challenge because they had sufficient man power to carry out the arrest.
And when asked by the court if they had anything further to say concerning the bail application, all the accused persons informed the court that if granted bail, they would ensure that they attended court sessions without fail.
They added that if allowed to go home, it would give them an opportunity to get back to work and help their parents.
Magistrate Bwalya then reserved ruling on the bail application to August 6, 2021.