HH appears in court on defamation charges


UPND leader Hakainde Hichilemas’ lawyer Sakwiba Sikota has expressed disappointment at the state’s failure to have their client heard before Lusaka Magistrate Courts today.

 Mr. Hichilema who appeared in the company of his lawyers lead by Sakwiba Sikota, Jack Mwiimbu, Noah Dindi, Milner Katolo, Martha Mushipe and Marshal Mugende arrived at the Lusaka Magistrate complex at around 14:30 hours amidst cadres support but where made to wait for over 45 minutes for the state prosecution team to be ready.

But after a meeting in the chambers Mr. Sikota told journalists that the state have indicated to the lawyers that they were not ready to and asked that the matter be postponed to a later date.

 Mr. Sikota told journalist that Mr. Hichilema has been charged with an offence of defamation of a President.

 He said the court informed the lawyers that they have sent the docket to the Director for Public Prosecution so that he came have a look at it.  

 Mr. Sikota said after the rush that the police had earlier put the accused on and his lawyers and all urgency they went through it was frustrating to come to court and be told that the court was not ready.

 He complained that it was not fair for the police to insist that Mr. Hichilema goes to police and later be taken to court at a short notice and further fail to prosecute him.

 “The state acted like they were dealing with a matter that could not wait, we had to stop all we were doing to accompany our client only to come here and nothing happens” said Mr. Sikota.

 He further said Mr. Hichilema will appear in court on Tuesday as agreed by the court and the defence lawyers in the chambers.

Mr. Hichilema has however been put on police bond after police interrogations at Woodlands police stations where he was summoned this afternoon.