TWO United Party for National Development (UPND) cadres have pleaded not guilty to circulating malicious information about the health of the Republican President, Michael Sata.
George Chombela, 68, and Richard Hachijika, 69, were granted K20, 000 bail each, in their own recognisance with two working sureties from recognised institutions.
Chombela and Hachijika both of Kaunda Square stage 1 are facing one count of publication of false news with intent to cause fear and alarm to the public.
It is alleged that Chombela and Hachijika on June 14, 2014, in Lusaka while acting together, did orally publish statements in which they said inter alia “don’t you know that the President is sick, anytime from now we are going to have by elections.”
Chombela and Hachijika who appeared before senior magistrate, Mwaka Mikalile told the court after the charge was read out to them that although they understood the offence, they were not guilty.
Another UPND cadre, Fresher Siwale, 58, took plea before Lusaka magistrate, Irene Wushimanga and has since been granted a K6, 000 cash bail with two working sureties. Siwale is facing one count of conduct likely to cause the breach of public peace.
Particulars allege that Siwale of Chelstone Township in Lusaka on June 14, 2014 whilst in a public place at Munali police post did conduct himself in a manner which was provocative to any person as to cause the breach of public peace.
Chombela and Hachijika would commence trial on July 15, 2014 while Siwale would commence his on July 16, 2014.
The trio was arrested on Saturday as they conducted door-to-door campaigns in Munali constituency.
Meanwhile, police in Lusaka have recorded a warn and caution statement from Hot FM radio station programmes manager, Collins Changwe Kabwe for publication of false news.
This is in connection with the news that was aired on the radio station between May 26 and May 27, 2014 which alleged that President Sata had been evacuated to South Africa after collapsing.
Zambia police spokesperson Charity Chanda said in a statement yesterday that Mr Kabwe opted to remain silent during the warn and caution statement.
Ms Chanda said investigations in the matter was on going.
In another development, Ms Chanda has announced that investigations into the case in which a Post Newspaper journalist, Oliver Chisenga is alleged to have been assaulted by police officers are on course.
Ms Chanda said the nation would be informed on the outcome.
Times of Zambia