The trial has finally commenced in the case in which four Kasama youths are charged with assaulting Kasama District Administrative Officer (DAO) Beauty Namukoko over accusations of denying them empowerment.
The four who are said to be UPND supporters are also facing theft and criminal trespass charges.
According to Radio Mano of Kasama, trial commenced in the Kasama Magistrates Court on Thursday, with the victim Ms. Namukoko narrating her ordeal on what transpired on a fateful day.
The case commenced with a heavy presence of uniformed police officers keeping vigil of the Court premises and nearby areas in a bid to ensure that any form of disturbance like what was witnessed on Tuesday last week, was not repeated.
The trial could not commence last week on Tuesday following a disturbance by suspected UPND youths at the court premises.
Narrating her ordeal, Ms Namukoko, 53, told the Kasama Magistrates Court that on 21st January, 2022 at about 08:13 hours; whilst in her office and on a phone call, a group of men stormed her office and within a split of seconds, snatched the phone and started beating her up, the beating which included several punches and slaps, as she cried for help and begged the attackers to stop.
Ms. Namukolo added that on the material day, the alleged attackers, who have since been identified as Andrew Sichimba, 27, Boniface Kaonga, 30, Nathan Phiri, 23 and Costen Kalimwengo, 24, walked away with her hand bag.
And Ms. Namukolo has further told Principal Resident Magistrate, Osward Chibalo who is presiding over the case, that three-days prior to her fateful day, the said attackers visited her office asking for youths empowerment forms and when she did not give them, explaining that the forms have errors requiring corrections, the overzealous group unleashed insults and threats on her life.
The Court has since adjourned this matter to 3rd March, 2022 for continuation of trial.
On Tuesday last week, trial in this matter could not start due to some supporters of the UPND being at the Court premises while clad in their political party regalia, a scenario which made the Court adjourn the matter.
Meanwhile, appearing for plea before Principal Resident Magistrate, Osward Chibalo, on Monday 24th January, 2022, the accused; Andrew Sichimba, 27 of Mukulumpe township, Boniface Kaonga, 30 of Musenga township, Nathan Phiri, 23 of Amini village and Costen Kalimwengo 24 of Winberg suburb, pleaded not guilty.
On 21st January 2022 and a few days that followed, a video went viral where visibly identifiable people, suspected to UPND political cadres, are captured mercilessly attacking the Kasama District Administrative Officer, or DAO, Beauty Namukoko.
On 25th January, four youths appeared in the Kasama Magistrate Court on charges of assaulting Ms. Namukoko.
According to Kasama based Radio Mano, the four local youths, suspected to be political cadres that are allegedly seen captured in a video that has gone viral beating up Ms. Namukoko in her office last Friday for allegedly denying them empowerment.
And Magistrate Chibalo had denied the accused bail after the State objected to their lawyer’s application on grounds that none of them is of a fixed abode.
The accused are remanded in custody at Kasama’s Milima Correctional Facility.
This matter was adjourned to 27th January, 2022 for commencement of the trial.
Meanwhile, President Hakainde Hichilema took interest in the case.
President Hichilema expressed sadness over the attack on Ms. Namukoko and told police to protect people.
The head of state said the police do not require his instruction to protect citizens, saying this is the more reason that if they are failing to protect the citizens then he, as Republican President, does not need them.