Police arrested Pilato on Saturday from a Church building in Livingstone’s Libuyu area, but he was quickly moved to Livingstone Central Police Station where he was charged with unlawful assembly before being detained.
But according to a senior police source, officers dealing with the case acted hastily and failed to find an appropriate charge that could stand in court.
“That is why Pilato’s docket could not be handed over to the NPA (National Prosecutions Authority) that is why he was not in court on Monday as the charge of unlawful assembly does not make sense since he was arrested alone leaving the youths he was addressing at the Catholic Church’s Youth Training Centre… unlawful assembly means a gathering of persons and not a person in this case one Pilato,” the source said laughing.
The police source added that it was going to be a difficult case to prosecute as there were no other co-accused persons arrested.
“So the blame game has started now; there is finger-pointing. The arresting officers should have picked all or at least more than 10 people that attended his meeting. So the heat is on at the Central Police in that the lawyers to Pilato will have a feast on arresting officers or the PF witnesses who blew the whistle of his (Pilato’s) meeting. One such topic being discussed is that are all seminars and gatherings held in hotels and churches illegal, are they unlawful assemblies. Can one person unlawfully assemble? If so how and where? If it is at some strategic installations a charge of attempting to commit a felony is appropriate,” the senior police officer said on condition of anonymity.
Magistrate Michael Mulalelo on Monday gave Alliance for Community Action (ACA) executive director Laura Miti and her programmes officer Bonwell Mwewa bial of K2000 each on condition that they have two sureties each, after they were arrested for allegedly assaulting a police officer.
The duo are being represented by Linda Kasonde of LCK Chambers and Brian Gombwa of MAK Partners.
Miti and Mwewa allagedly assulted Woman Constable Fredah Simasho and Directive Inspector Ephraim Silwamba respectively on December 22 when they went to visit Pilato at the Livingstone Central Police Station at night, contrary to Section 250 (b) of the Penal Code Chapter 8 of the Laws of Zambia.
In her application for bail Kasonde who is former LAZ president said it was a wideley known fact that prison conditions in Zambia were in pathetic state and not well ventilated.
She also applied that, should the accused be granted bail, they be allowed not to attend court for mention on January 3, 2020 but be availability for commencement of trail on January 13.
The State did not object to the applications.