NINE suspected UPND cadres have been charged with two counts of murder in connection with the recent killing of two alleged PF supporters in Lusaka’s Kanyama Township.
Meanwhile, the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court has set August 23 for commencement of a preliminary inquiry in the matter.
This was after defence lawyers Keith Mweemba and Gilbert Phiri made an application that at the next sitting, the court should call for a preliminary inquiry to expedite the handling of the matter since murder cases can only be tried by the High Court.
In this matter, the nine suspected UPND cadres have been dragged to court for the murder of two PF supporters after raiding a PF campaign centre in Mbasela, Kanyama Township on July 30, 2021.
The nine are charged with two counts of murder contrary to section 200 of the penal code chapter 87 of the laws of Zambia.
The accused persons include; Samson Mumba, 25, a general worker of Kanyama west; Kelvin Banda, 30, a businessman of John Laing; a 16-year-old businessman of Chawama; John Mwanza, 30, also a businessman of John Laing; and Njekwa Puteho, 21, a guard of Kanyama.
Others are; Rueben Nalikana, 22, a general worker of Kanyama; Mwendabai Namushi, 31, also a general worker of Kanyama; Elijah Kawewe, a bus driver from Garden house; and John Bwalya, 25, a garden boy.
In the first count, it is alleged that the accused persons on July 30, 2021, jointly and whilst acting together allegedly murdered Danny Kasongo, a suspected PF member.
In the second count, it is alleged that on the same day, the nine whilst acting together allegedly murdered Davies Kabunda, also said to be a PF member.
When the matter came up for an explanation of the charge before Magistrate Stanford Ngobola, the accused persons stated that they understood the charge.
The accused could however not be committed to the High Court for plea as the state did not have a certificate of committal and was awaiting instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Defence lawyers Keith Mweemba and Gilbert Phiri also made an application that at the next sitting, the court should call for a preliminary inquiry to expedite the handling of the matter since murder cases could only be tried by the High Court.
Mweemba told the court that sometimes the office of the DPP delayed in producing committal certificates, leading to the accused persons being detained for prolonged periods hence the request for the holding of the preliminary inquiry.
The state did not object to the application.
And in response, Magistrate Ngobola stated that there being no objection, he would commence with the preliminary inquiry at the next sitting on August 23, 2021.
The matter has since been adjourned to the said date.