The State through the Zambia Correctional Services has applied to the Lusaka Magistrate Court to transfer opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema and his five co-accused back to Mukobeko Maximum Prison.
The state says transferring Mr Hichilema and the five back to Mukobeko is for their own safety.
According to an application filed before the Lusaka Magistrates Court with a certificate of urgency, Lusaka Central Prison Officer in Charge Patrick Ngonga submitted that the correctional facility would always avail Mr Hichilema to court when needed no matter the location at which he was held.
“That I wish to apply to this Honourable court to vary its order to the effect that the complainants should be availed before the court as and when they are required to attend to the proceedings and not to be remanded at Lusaka Central Facility on the reasons to be given in subsequent paragraphs. That the Correctional Services Authority are the best suited to determine which correctional facility an accused person is to be lodged,” he submitted.
He added, “the complainants are remanded as accused persons by the Correctional Services Authority and are appearing in their capacity as complainants and witnesses respectively before this court. That the Lusaka Central Correctional Facility is not as secure as Mukobeko Maximum Correctional Facility due to its location,” Ngonga swore.
“That Mukobeko Maximum Correctional Facility is the only maximum correctional facility in Zambia. That for the reasons within the mandate of the Correctional Services Authority, the complainants are better kept at Mukobeko Maximum Facility for their own and other remandees safety and humane custody. That further, the Correctional Services Authority has the capacity to avail the accused persons to court as and when the court so directs from any location within the country.”
Magistrate Ireen Wishimanga will hear the application on Wednesday at 08:30 Hours in chambers.