Barotse activists’ case moved to Lusaka

THE Lusaka high court has transferred from Mongu to Lusaka a treason case involving former Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) Ngambela Clement Sinyinda and 83 others.

Judge Evans Hamaundu said in his ruling yesterday that he was changing the venue of the case to Lusaka because it was more convenient than Mongu.
Mr Justice Hamaundu also transferred the detention of the accused persons from Mongu prison to Mwembeshi open prison in Mumbwa.
This is in a matter in which the State had requested for the transfer of the hearing and detentions to Mumbwa court and prisons respectively, citing security concerns.
But the activists led by Sinyinda had objected to the application, saying there were no disturbances that had arisen during their appearance in the Mongu magistrates’ court.
They contended that their relatives and supporters only cheered after court sessions.
Mr Justice Hamaundu said in his ruling yesterday that he had inquired from the Mongu magistrate’s court but he was informed that there had been no disturbances in court.
He, however, said that if the matter was moved to Mumbwa as was requested by the State, it would mean that the accused persons would be required to appear in Kabwe where there is only one court room and would in the process affect other matters.
Mr Justice Hamaundu further said that he was changing the venue to Lusaka because there were several courts with many judges who would handle two or more parallel court sessions.
He said Mumbwa was good for accommodation of the suspects because of the Mwembeshi prison which was more spacious.
Mr Justice Hamaundu said “trial is convenient here in Lusaka so I have changed the venue from Mongu to Lusaka”.