The Kabwe Magistrates’ Court has granted area PF member of parliament Tutwa Ngulube K10,000 bail with two working sureties.
This in a matter where the Kabwe Municipal council has dragged him to court for allegedly trespassing on land earmarked for the construction of a transit bus station at Tushane in Lukanga Township.
Meanwhile, senior resident magistrate Sibaleya Chikuba ordered that the police should vacate Sonnet Melodius Building Complex after an application from Ngulube.
Ngulube is alleged to have on the 10th April, 2018 entered without authorisation the construction site for the Lukanga Transit Bus Station accompanied by two other people where he allegedly caused commotion and halted construction works.
Ngulube, who is representing himself, pleaded not guilty to the charge of criminal trespass contrary to Section 306 of the Penal Code.
He has since made three applications to the court, among them that the prosecutor Masokoye Phiri, who he said is his long-time friend should recused himself from prosecuting the case.
“I have worked with the prosecutor Mr Phiri on a number of cases here in Kabwe for about seven years. I apply to this court that he be recused from prosecuting this matter,” he said.
He also complained that the police presence outside the court premises and business premises was unnecessary and an act of intimidation.
“There are too many police officers outside this court room. Some are at my business premises. This is an act of intimidation. I apply that they be ordered to vacate my premises,” Ngulube said.
And Senior Resident Magistrate, Sibaleya Chikuba ordered that the police to vacate Sonnet Melodius Building Complex.
Magistrate Chikuba has since set May 18, 2018 as the date of trial and reserved ruling on some constitutional issues raised by Ngulube.
By press time, Ngulube was still making frantic efforts to for police to release about 20 of his supporters who were arrested for demanding that his charges be dropped, Tuesday.
And Ngulube vowed to continue siding with the poor in a statement shared on his Facebook page.
On May 4, Ngulube dragged the Kabwe Municipal Council to court over the irregular engagement of Nshinda Debt Collectors to collect unpaid rates from Kabwe residents on its behalf.
According to the indictment and court documents obtained by News Diggers, the respondents in the matter are Kabwe Town Clerk Ronald Daka, Kabwe Mayor Prince Chileshe, Director legal services Jonah Siwale, Director health Paul Mukuka and all the directors of Nshinda Debt Collectors.
Ngulube accused them of abuse of authority of office and failing to comply with tender procedures.
But in apparent retaliation, the council, through the Town Clerk Ronald Daka, signed a closure order for Sonnet Melodius Building Complex, which houses Sonnet Hypermarket; a transit bus station for long distance vehicles, all operated by Ngulube.
However, when asked if Ngulube was being merely victimized after dragging the council to court, the Town Clerk charged that the law maker had been running an illegal station for a long time.
“We have closed Sonnets Hypermarket bus station in accordance with the law. That station has been operating illegally for some time now. And we thought once and for all we bury this issue by enforcing necessary provisions of the law,” said Daka adding that the local authority was not being reactive by closing the bus station.
“Honourable Ngulube has been fighting this council. The whole of last year we had to fight battles with him and failed to work. So how can we today be accused of being reactive just because of the court case. It is just the illegal station that we have closed but the rest of the business is operational.”