30 Barotse activists discharged


THIRTY out of the 84 Barotse activists charged with treason have been discharged after the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) entered a nolle prosequi in their favour.
The release of the 30 activists leaves 54 people, including former Deputy Minister of Education Clement Sinyinda, in police custody.
Sinyinda is separately charged with others with treason contrary to the Laws of Zambia.
Principal resident magistrate Aridah Chulu discharged six, principal resident magistrate Obbister Musukwa discharged two and 22 were set free by resident magistrate Mwaka Mikalile.
“The six of you, there is a nolle prosequi from the DDP chambers to discharge you. So for now you are free and you can go home but this does not mean you have been acquitted as the State can still arrest you,” Mrs Chulu said.
The six are Mwangala Sikongo, Josia Namela, Simunji Lutaka, Kakunda Kakunda, Godwin Sibamba and Monde Nalumino.
Mrs Chulu adjourned the matter involving 13 activists who appeared in her court to November 15, 2013 for mention awaiting instructions of committal to the High Court from the DPP chambers.
The magistrate also refused to start a preliminary inquiry into a matter involving Sinyinda and others because they were appearing in her court for the first time.
“I will not entertain such an application because I am seeing the accused persons for the first time and there is no delay in the matter. Let us wait for instructions from the DPP and if there is a delay, then we can look at the issue of a preliminary inquiry,” she said in response to lawyer Sakwiba Sikota.
Mr Sikota wanted the court to open a preliminary inquiry because the accused persons have been appearing in court without trial for over a month.
Meanwhile, Mrs Chulu refused to grant Mr Sikota’s application that the accused persons should stop appearing in the subordinate court as High Court judge Evans Hamaundu, in his October 16 ruling, committed the 84 to the High Court for trial.
She said in her ruling that it is only the subordinate courts which have powers to commit accused persons to the High Court after receiving instructions from the DPP chambers.
Mrs Chulu also said the accused persons have been charged differently hence their appearing in different courts.
She said this after Mr Sikota applied that the accused persons are appearing in court wrongly and that yesterday they appeared in different courts when they appeared in the High Court as a group.