13 people have pleaded not guilty to 2 counts of malicious damage , 1 count of arson and 1 count of breaking and entering with intent to commit a felony.
This follows a spate of violence in Mpongwe district where members of the public ransacked shops and burnt a vehicle of a person suspected of practicing witchcraft.
Particulars of the offence in the first count are that Rodwell Tembo, Clarance Kabanga and Leonard Kanungwe on the 1st day of April 2018 in Mpongwe district of the Copperbelt province jointly and willfully did damage 2 wind screens, a siding glass, a wiper and a headlamp all valued at K1, 985.00 properties of uniturtle industries.
In the 2nd count, it is alleged that Alex Tutwa, Inness Ntapwa, Grace Mwape, Daniel Mwamba, Bethsheba Mukabe, Betson Sota, Jessy Pilison, Richard Mukobeko, Rodwell Tembo, Kelly Lubebe, Leonard Kanungwa, Clarance Kabanga and Stephen Chibanga on the 1st day of April 2018 in Mpongwe district jointly and whilst acting together willfully and unlawfully did damage a cooker stove, kitchen unit, 42 window panniers, and kitchen utensils valued at K6120.00 property of Christopher Sota.
In the 3rd count , it is alleged that on the 1 st day of April 2018, the 13 accused persons jointly and whilst acting together willfully and unlawfully did set on fire a Mitsubishi canter registration ACR 6114 valued at K75,000 property of Christopher Sota.
In the 4th count, it is alleged that the 13 accused persons on 1st April 2018 in Mpongwe jointly and whilst acting together did break and enter a shop stealing assorted groceries, a deep freezer, eight 50kg bags of fertilizer, 3 injector pumps, 50 plastic buckets, a radio set, 2 television sets, 1 bucket of water paint, 10 tables, 4 chairs, 6 metal stools, assorted alcoholic beverages, 20 crates and a motor all valued at a cost of K198,860.00 property of Christopher Sota.
Magistrate Dennis Muchaba has since adjourned the matter to 11th April 2018 for commencement of trial.
Magistrate Muchaba has further granted each of the accused 13 persons K10, 000 bail in their own cognizance.