The State has entered a nolle prosequi in the case in which United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema was charged with disobeying lawful orders to give way to President Edgar Lungu’s presidential motorcade in Mongu.
When the case came up for commencement of trial before magistrate Gabriel Malumani today, the state said it was ready to proceed but had an application to make.
A state advocate then informed magistrate Greenwell Malumani that the state had decided to enter a nolle in count one.
However, Defense Lawyer Marshal Muchende said there is no reason someone without constitutional power from the DPP as enshrined in the constitution, should sign a Nolle Prosequi on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).
He says the gymnastics that have been played by the State in continually abusing the accused Hakainde Hichilema and others using the power deposed in them is unacceptable.
Defense lawyer Muchende says the defense team would like to place it on record that the State should bear in mind that the international community is closely following the matter and that investors too will only focus on governance issues in Zambia.
He adds that the State advocates after abusing the accused for 30 days and planning to enter a nolle prosequi is a direct indictment on their freedoms.
He submits that the court rejects the nolle prosequi by the State advocates and trials begin now.
“There is no reason someone without constitutional power from the DPP as enshrined in the constitution, should sign a Nolle Prosequi on behalf of the DPP” Defence Law Muchende said
Defence lawyer Jack Mwiimbu also said the powers that the DPP had in the past are different as there is a new constitution adding that article 187 places and states the powers of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).
He quotes that the issue is about the abuse of the court and that the court must not deny the rights to integrity.
He argues that it is clear that there has been abuse of the judicial processes by the DPP considering that the state advocates have been changing the cases since the arrest of HH for four times
He says the submission by the State advocates that they can even rearrest HH and 5 others is the same reason why the nolle prosequi must not be taken into.
He says it is clear that the State advocates and DPP are planning to arrest HH again because already they are issuing threats.
And Magistrate Malumani asks state advocate Sakala why trials should not continue if they have plans to rearrest Hakainde Hichilema and 5 others and in response State advocate Sakala says that is the power vested in the DPP.
Magistrate Malumani has since adjourned the matter for a ruling.
The other remaining count is where Mr Hichilema is accused of using insulting language against police officers.
He is also expected in court tomorrow for the treason case.