FODEP Executive Director MacDonald Chipenzi and two others have pleaded not guilty in the Lusaka Magistrate court for publication of false information with intent to cause fear and alarm to the public contrary to section 67(1) of the penal code cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia.
This is in a matter in which MacDonald Chipenzi and his co-accused the Daily Nation Newspaper Proprietor Richard Sakala and his Editor Simon Mwanza have been jointly charged for publication of a false article in the Daily Nation Newspaper on December 10, 2013 believed to cause fear and alarm to the nation.
When the matter came up for plea before Magistrate Lameck Mwale, the prosecution objected to the defence’s application for bail stating that if the accused persons were granted bail they would continue with publication of articles of the same nature and that may also interfere with the witnesses.
The defence submitted that the court should exercise it’s discretion and grant the accused persons bail became they had committed a bailable offence and that the article had already been printed hence they cannot interfere with anything.
The magistrate said he had considered the submissions from both parties and grated the accused K10 000 cash bail each with two working sureties from government and quasi institutions who are both residents of Lusaka.
The matter has since been adjourned to December 26, 2013 for mention and January 10, 2014 for commencement of trial.