Magistrate Greenwell Malumani has commenced the trial of United Party for National Development (UPND) Leader Hakainde Hichilema in which he has been charged for the use insulting language.
The Defence lawyers have taken turn in questioning the state witnesses of which some are giving conflicting statements.
Below is the verbatim of the transpired during trial.
Defence lawyer Kieth Mweemba asks what the witness; Hamweene and Musamba Chime were wearing on the 11th April, 2017.
State witness says he and the others were dressed in casual clothes.
Defence lawyer Mweemba asks whether the state witness is aware that it is difficult for people to identify an officer when not in uniform?
State witness agrees but denies when asked by defense lawyer Mweemba on whether he is aware that when conducting public duties police officers must be in uniform, failure to do so may lead to relieve of duty.
Defense lawyer Mweemba asks what language is “insulting language “?
And state witness says it is English adding that insulting language is from insulting.
Defense Lawyer Mweemba asks the state witness whether he knows that the accused HH and his entourage where cleared by Police in Mongu?
State witness says he doesn’t know.
Defense lawyer Mweemba says the State witness arrested HH at Lilayi which is not gazzetted but state witness says it is but does not know how.
Defense lawyer Mweemba says state witness has not produced any pictorial evidence to the case in court other than oral to exclude the danger of false implications that HH used insulting language?
State witness says he has no evidence.
Defense Lawyer Gilbert Phiri starts cross examining how state and witness who assigned him to arrest and charge HH on 3 charges?
State witness says he was assigned by officer in charge Arthur Shonga.
Defense lawyer Phiri asks if it is a fact that state witness was at HH’s house on 10th April, 2017 at 22:00 hours.
State witness says he was not at HH’s house at that time and on that day.
Defence lawyer Phiri asks that the court avails him the report that the State witness did author on what happened.
State prosecutor Sakala argues that there is no need of such but Magistrate Malumani guides that it be brought forward.
Defence lawyer Phiri asks the state witness to disclose whose handwriting it was and who wrote the report.
State witness says it is his handwriting and that he wrote it.
Defense lawyer Phiri says ‘read paragraph 6’.
State witness ‘Around 22: 00 hours on 10th April, 2017, I pursued Mr Hakainde Hichilema to his residence at plot 10474 off leopards hill road. During an operation which lasted for more than 4 hours, the following suspects were apprehended for various offenses.’
Defense lawyer Phiri says state witness told the court that he never went to HH’s house on 10th April, 2017. Why lie?
State witness says he did not go to HH’s house.
Defense lawyer Phiri calls the state witness a ‘liar..
Magistrate Malumani says he will not allow the state witness to continue telling lies, he says this is a court and the law is followed here vehemently.
Magistrate Malumani quotes relevant provisions on telling lies and guides that he will not allow such lies anymore.
Prosecutor Sakala objects that it is not fair to call the State witness a ‘liar’ by the defense lawyer Phiri.
But Magistrate Greenwell Malumani rules that the reason why such is arising is because the state witness is not telling the truth.
Magistrate Malumani says when brought to court one stops being state but an individual and once jailed it is him alone as state witness Mbita and family to face the punishment. Magistrate Malumani rules that he will use the law and follow the law and nothing otherwise.
Defense Lawyer Mweemba asks whether the state witness is aware that a government can be overthrown lawfully?
State witness says he has no time to respond to anything related to treason.
Magistrate Greenwell Malumani asks what the level of education is for the State witness?
State witness says he is a police officer but that he can’t state what he has studied as it may be taken as demeaning him.
Defense lawyer Mweemba says do you agree with me that it is allowed to overthrow a government through a democratic Means?
Prosecutor Sakala objects that it is not fair to ask such a question to someone who is not a lawyer.
Magistrate Malumani guides that the question be not entertained.
Defense lawyer Mweemba asks whether witness aware that there was a presidential petition in the country and before the court?
State witness says he is aware adding that the petition was thrown out.
Defence lawyer Mweemba asks when was the matter before Justice Chitabo thrown out?
State witness says he is not aware.
Defence lawyer Mweemba asks whether it is treason to challenge any presidential election in court?
State witness says it is not.
Defense lawyer Mweemba asks what evidence the state witness has talking about HH planning to overthrow a government?
State witness says he will not disclose and state advocates takes to the floor and says it is not fair to ask such a question at this stage.
Defence lawyer Mwiimbu rises and says that the State witness has no choice on what he can comment on or not because all documents are in court and in circulation. Defense lawyer Mwiimbu says there is no court without any evidence.
Defence lawyer Mweemba says that the State witness must disclose what evidence he has.
Magistrate Greenwell Malumani guides that the State witness is not allowed to state the treason evidence.
Magistrate Malumani has disclosed that the treason charge ruling slated for today at 14 hours will not take place today but tomorrow.
He says this is in order to allow the insulting language case end today.
Magistrate Malumani says the State witness must in general manner comment on the treason charge and all cases
Defense Lawyer Mweemba asks how did he arrest HH without investigations?
State witness says he was convinced that HH had committed treason and that he did his own investigations.
Defense lawyer Mweemba asks when did he visit Mongu, Western province? And whether the officer was on duty?
State witness says he was in Mongu on 8th April, 2017 and attended the Kuomboka ceremony.
And defense lawyer Mweemba asks whether the state witness did record a statement from the anyone in Mongu?
State witness says he did not.
And defense lawyer Mweemba asks who is commissioner for Western province,?
And state witness says it is Commissioner Lungu adding that he did not record any statement from.
Defense Lawyer Mweemba asks witness how he made up his mind and arrested HH without the truth or know how?
State witness says he does not know who conducted the investigations on whether HH did commit treason and used insulting language on him and others.
Defense lawyer Mweemba asks for permission to handover a habeas corpus and exhibits written MM1 the initials of his names to the state advocates and go through the provisions on investigations.
Defense lawyer Mweemba asks the state witness to read what he has in his hands.
And state witness says it the official arresting documents which he wrote.
And defense lawyer Mweemba says is this the same document he used to arrest HH?
And state witness asks which case? Defense Lawyer Mweemba says all the charges and in response State witness says yes.
Defense lawyer Mweemba asks what was the length lining on the Mongu-Limulunga road and whether there were police officers on the said road to clear the road?
Defense lawyer Mweemba again asks how was the spacing of police officers on the Mongu-Limulunga road during Kuomboka ceremony and how many police officers were there?
State witness says he does not know.
Defense lawyer Mweemba says but you arrested HH that he blocked a presidential motorcade?
state witness says he is not aware of how.
Defence lawyer Mweemba asks how did you arrive at arresting HH.
And Magistrate Malumani guides that the officer had disclosed that he does not know how the route lining was done and police officers spacing on the Mongu-Limulunga road during Kuomboka ceremony.
Defence lawyer Mweemba asks the state witness what Inspector Ndalama informed him of what happened?
State witness says Inspector Ndalama did not tell him but only submitted a report.
Defense lawyer Mweemba asks whether the State witness did record a statement?
And state witness says he did not record any statement from Inspector Ndalama and that he is not Inspector Ndalama and that he does not know the report.
State witness further says he did not even read the report from Inspector Ndalama on how HH blocked a presidential motorcade but went ahead to arrest HH without even conducting investigations.
In defense of the state witness, prosecutor Sakala says the treason charge is not what is being discussed and that the witness should not be asked such.
But defense lawyer Mweemba says how can a person be arrested for a capital offense such as treason which is basically leading to killing someone without conducting investigations as the State witness has maintained that he does not know who held and led the investigations when HH was arrested?
Prosecutor Sakala seen whispering to the state witness by the Magistrate Greenwell Malumani who wonders why the State advocate Sakala is doing such without following the court procedure of rising?
In response State advocate Sakala says he will oblige by the court rules.
And in his ruling, Magistrate Greenwell Malumani says he has examined the questions related to the treason charge as raised by state advocate Sakala and he has also taken into account what the defense lawyer Mweemba raised.
Greenwell Malumani has ruled that the State witness being the same person who arrested HH on treason he must be asked by the defense lawyer Mweemba how he did it and investigations he conducted.
He adds that failure to respond on questions to do with treason, may affect the treason charge citing John Hartchard and Muna Ndulo case.
Magistrate Malumani rules that the truth is known at the cross examining stage such as this. He expounds that the State witness has no choice but state how he even arrested HH for treason during this insulting language case because what is coming ahead is a treason hearing which will still require him to explain.
Defense Lawyer Mweemba stands and says good morning officer Mbita, did you sleep well?
And in response senior intelligence officer and arresting officer of HH says he slept well.
Defense lawyer Mweemba says yesterday the cross examining ended on investigations and asks who was in charge of the investigations?
But State witness says he cannot disclose who was in charge of the investigations.
Defence lawyer Mweemba says whether the state witness likes it or not, he will answer as to who was in charge of the investigations.
Defense lawyer Mweemba says if the state witness refuses responding to questions, he will be locked up for not less than 8 days as the law says.
Magistrate Malumani reads from the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) which says anyone refusing to give answers under oath can be sent to prison. He adds that he if the state witness does not respond he will be sent to jail for more than 8 days and postpone the matter.
And in response, state witness Mbita says he does not know who was in charge of the investigations.
But defense lawyer Mweemba says how an intelligence officer and arresting officer fail to tell how investigations were done.
And Magistrate Malumani asks whether Intelligence officer Mbita is the one who conducted the investigations of the treason charge and eventual slapping of the same on HH?
In affirmative, the state witness says yes.
Defense Lawyer Jack Mwiimbu stands and says the defense team would like to raise issues pertaining to the conduct of the Police at court premises.
Defense lawyer Mwiimbu says everyone recalls that during the last deliberations court ordered that Police must be orderly especially how they treat lawyers.
He says a number of defense lawyers this morning were blocked and denied access to the premises the court.
He adds that not only defense lawyers were blocked by Police but even litigants and witnesses.
Defense lawyer Mwiimbu says if there is any need for police to behave in such a manner, police must consult the judiciary.
He says the defense team prays that magistrate Malumani reiterates his position on how police must behave while at court.
Prosecutor Sakala tells magistrate that the issues raised by the defense team are not peculiar to the court adding that Police must continue with their work.
But Magistrate Greenwell Malumani has asked the State advocates who the senior officer was and issuing instructions to juniors?
State advocates says they do not know who is in charge and giving them instructions.
Meanwhile Magistrate Malumani has tasked the prosecution team led by Sakala and Mwewa to identify who is in charge of the Police and giving them instructions at the court premises.
He says the prosecutors and state advocates must state who is in charge and that after hearing from them he will give a ruling.
Magistrate Malumani further guides that if there is any defense lawyers who have been blocked outside, they may be phoned and state how safe they are.
State witness says he is not telling lies adding that he never went to HH’s house on that night but only pursued him on the same night.
And Magistrate Malumani asks further whether the allegations as stated by the defense lawyer PHIRI were true that he went to HH’s house?
State witness says he did not go there but pursued him.
And Magistrate Malumani says is the State witness implying that he was chasing HH?
And state witness says he followed HH but when asked by the defense lawyer Phiri on whether HH was driving for him to be pursued, state witness says he doesn’t know whether HH was driving.
Defense lawyer Phiri asks whether the state witness and his report that he was at HH’s house or not contrary to his reports?
State witness says he was not at HH’s house contrary to what he wrote in the report.
Defense Lawyer Phiri says according to the to the report by the State witness 4 others were arrested and asks where were they arrested from when he is the arresting officer?
State witness says at HH’s house but when asked as to who arrested them? State witness says other officers and not him.
Defense Lawyer Phiri asks that during the state witness’s perused of HH, was he with Mr Musamba Chime, Hamweene?
State witness says he was not with them but that he was with several officers and one of them is officer Mr Chirwa who he doesn’t know his first name but at police force headquarters.
State advocate rises and says they feel uncomfortable for the report on how HH was arrested to be produced in the court.
But Magistrate Greenwell Malumani says the court has the right to have the report if he is to make a judicial decision. He adds that the court has power to ask for any document especially when a witness is telling lies.
Magistrate Malumani says he has powers to make any decision without asking the defense team or state advocates on how matters proceeds but that he is a fair court.
Defense lawyer Phiri says seemingly the state witness is carrying a gun and that he is not comfortable.
But state witness says he too is not comfortable that the defense lawyer Phiri is saying he could be carrying a gun.
And defense lawyer Mwiimbu requests that the matter goes to the chambers momentarily.
Matters being taken to the Chambers and adjourned for 15 minutes as submitted by defense lawyer Mwiimbu.
And Magistrate Malumani says he is ready to conclude this matter but issues rising may prolong it.
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