Former Patriotic Front (PF) Deputy Secretary-General, Mumbi Phiri and Shebby Chilekwa have been committed to the High Court for trial in a matter in which they are charged for the alleged murder of Lawrence Banda in Kaoma District.
Magistrate Bestings Hamasiki committed the duo to the High Court after receiving a Certificate of Committal from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Earlier, the counsel representing the duo Charles Changano of D. Findlay and Associates applied to the court to hear the preliminary inquiry into the matter at the Subordinate Court to determine whether or not the evidence before it is sufficient for the case to be heard in the High Court.
The counsel who told the court that he was also acting on behalf of Makebi Zulu and Associates the lawyers representing Mumbi Phiri made an application according to criminal Procedure Code Section 223 of the Laws of Zambia.
The court could, however, not hear the preliminary inquiry because the prosecution team was in receipt of the Certificate of Committal to the High Court for the matter to be tried.
“I am now committing you to the high court for trial, it’s unfortunate that the preliminary inquiry could not be heard because the court is in receipt of the certificate of commitment from the DPP. I wish you well at the high court,” Magistrate Hamasiki said.
Speaking after the court session Counsel Chisanga expressed happiness at today’s court outcome saying it was as things ought to be.
He said the accused have a constitutional right to be heard and it was gratifying that the opportunity has been granted through High Court Committal.
Chisangano has however, appealed to Attorney General to amend part of the Criminal Procedure Code to give powers to the Subordinate Court to hear preliminary inquiries in criminal cases for a determination as to whether or not the case is worth trying in the High Court.
He expressed disappointment that the preliminary inquiry was not heard according to section 256 of the Criminal Code Article 180 of the Laws of Zambia because the DPP’s decision overrides everything.
Earlier the two accused Mumbi Phiri and Shebby Chilekwa were also happy that the matter has been committed to the High Court for trial.
Mrs. Phiri said she cannot be intimidated because God is on her side and all will be well.
“I know my side, I can never be intimidated. God is on my side. My people don’t be sad,” said Mrs Phiri.