Gary Nkombo, 8 others discharged

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THE Livingstone Magistrate’s Court yesterday discharged Mazabuka Central member of Parliament Gary Nkombo and eight others in a murder case when the State discontinued the matter on instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
And a 26-year-old man of Livingstone’s Libuyu township yesterday appeared before the same court charged with the murder of former Patriotic Front (PF) Monze district secretary Harrison Chanda.
Principal resident magistrate Chola Musonda said he discharged Mr Nkombo, who had been charged alone, and the other eight, saying the State had decided to discontinue the case.
The nine UPND members were charged with the murder of Mr Chanda on February 25, 2013 and were in detention for two weeks.
“Upon receiving instructions from the DPP to have this case discontinued, I discharge all the eight accused persons,” Mr Musonda said.
And Mr Nkombo thanked the judiciary for being professional in  handling the matter.
“I am very thankful to the judiciary for carrying out their duties professionally and clearing our names. I also thank UPND sympathisers who stood by us,” he said.
During the hearing, the defence complained that Mr Nkombo’s medical report had disappeared at Livingstone General Hospital where he was for a fractured arm and that all efforts to get any help from the police had failed.
But State prosecutors parried the allegation that the document was in the custody of the police, saying it had been given back to Mr Nkombo by hospital officials.
Magistrate Musonda ordered police to give Mr Nkombo a fresh medical form.
When he stepped out of court, Mr Nkombo, who was dressed in a suit and a red cap, was mobbed by chanting supporters and relatives.
Police had sealed off all the roads leading into and out of the court premises and screened everyone entering and exiting the premises.
And Henry Harry Lungu, unemployed, of house number B230, Libuyu, appeared before magistrate Musonda for mention because the offence he is charged with is only triable by the High Court.
It is alleged that on February 25, 2013, Lungu, while in Livingstone did murder Mr Harrison Chanda, contrary to section 200 of the Penal Code, Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia.
Magistrate Musonda read out the charge, which Lungu said he understood.
Meanwhile, JERRY MUNTHALI reports that Kitwe principal resident magistrate Penjani Lamba yesterday discharged MMD president Nevers Mumba and seven others charged with unlawful assembly when the State entered a nolle prosequi.
Mumba and others were jointly charged with unlawful assembly, contrary to Section 75 of the Penal Code Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia.
Mumba , 52, of house number 17C Middleway Street in Lusaka was jointly indicted with Howard Kunda (Muchinga member of Parliament),  37, of house number 847 Ghandi Road, Kanini in Ndola, and Michael Katambo (Masaiti MP), 43, of Mbalasa farm in Masaiti.
Others are Anne Chungu,  (Lufwanyama MP), 55, of number 2 Mwatusanga Road in Woodlands, Lusaka, and James Chishiba (Kafulafuta MP) of 25007, Libala South in Lusaka.
The rest are MMD deputy national secretary Chembe Nyangu, 57, of house number 1185, Avondale , Lusaka , Edith Nkhoma , 59, of house number 1697F Unity Way, Parklands in Kitwe and Greenford Kalinda, 53, of house number 193H , Garden House compound in Lusaka.
When the matter came up for mention before Mrs Lamba, Copperbelt provincial prosecutions officer Anderson Simbuliani told the court he had received instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to discontinue proceedings against Dr Mumba and his co-accused through a nolle prosequi.
Defence lawyers did not object to Mr Simbuliani’s submission but applied that Dr Mumba and his co-accused be awarded costs incurred during the case.
But Mr Simbuliani submitted that instructions from the DPP cannot be debated and Mrs Lamba discharged Mumba and his co-accused.
And speaking to journalists after the discharge, Dr Mumba said the State has done the right thing “because the case lacked merit”.