A public prosecutor has told the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court that the State intends to apply for a bench warrant against NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili if he fails to attend the court case today where he’s accused of issuing racial remarks against an Indian national.

In this matter, Kambwili is charged with one count of expressing or showing hatred, ridicule or contempt for persons because of race contrary to section 70(1) of the penal code chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia.

Particulars of the offence allege that Kambwili on February 19, this year, expressed racial remarks on Rajesh Kumar Verma, an Indian national.

Kambwili was arrested in February this year and charged with the said offence in relation to the viral social media video in which he was filmed having an altercation with an Indian who was operating a road compactor.

He had pleaded not guilty and was granted K3,000 cash bail with two working sureties bound in the sum of K10,000, but in their own recognisance.

Kambwili is being represented by defence lawyers; Gilbert Phiri, Christopher Mundia, Zevyanji Sinkala and Keith Mweemba.

When the matter came up before magistrate Humphrey Chitalu for commencement of trial, Monday, Kambwili was not present in court.

A prosecutor, Brian Syanyengo, then informed the court that two prosecutors who were prosecuting the matter, Noah Mwanza and Juvenalis Kamutondoli were not present in court as they were both on leave.

He further told the court that Kambwili’s lawyers also had an AGM in Livingstone.

“Apparently the lawyers have an AGM in Livingstone and it’s presumed that counsel is attending the same,” Syanyengo said.

He then told the court that if Kambwili failed to appear in court today, the State intends to make an application for a bench warrant.

“On the mention day, the accused did not attend. Even today (yesterday) he has not appeared nor sent a surety. If tomorrow he doesn’t appear, the State intends to make an application,” he said.

Syanyengo then asked the court to adjourn the matter to today.

The matter comes up today for commencement of trial.