MAGISTRATE NAMUSHI DECLINES TO REFER HON CHITOTELA, CHILANGWA CASE TO CONSTIUTIONAL COURT FOR INTERPRETATION
…. He has also declined to proceed with defense in the absence of one accused person
Kawambwa… Wednesday May 31, 2023 (SMART EAGLES)
The Kawambwa Subordinate Court has declined to refer the issues raised in the Hon. Ronald Chitotela, MP and Nickson Chilangwa with five others case to the constitutional court for interpretation.
Sitting in the Kawambwa Subordinate Court this morning, Magistrate Martin Namushi also declined to proceed with the defense in the absence of one accused person.
When the matter came up for ruling this morning, Magistrate Namushi said he criticality looked at the issues raised in the submissions and that he sees no constitutional issues to be addressed in this matter.
He refused to stay the matter and refer it to the constitutional court.
On Monday, the defense lawyers applied before the court that the issues raised by the state in their submission to commence trial while one accused person was not before the court be referred to the Constitutional Court for interpretation.
Defense Counsel Benjamin Mwelwa argued that the matters raised by the state be referred to the constitutional Court to give interpretation of Article 18 12D and (I) in relation to section 203 of the Criminal Procedure Court.
In another ruling, Magistrate Namushi declined to proceed with defense in the absence of Hon Chilangwa who was issued with a bench warrant last week.
Mr. Namushi dismissed the application to proceed hearing the matter in the absence of Hon Chilangwa and allowed the police to execute the bench warrant issued against the Kawambwa Central lawmaker.
On the last ruling, Mr. Namushi said the surities for Hon Chilangwa have constantly been coming to court and encouraged them to continue.
He also guided that the mandate of the surities of availing the accused person before the court when needed has not been withdrawn following the issuance of the bench warrant.
On Monday, the State applied that the two surities for Hon Chilangwa namely Daniel Mulenga and Tamary Kabwe be made to appear before the court to explain the whereabouts of the accused person who the police said is in hiding.
Mr. Namushi has since adjourned the matter to Friday 2nd June, 2023 to allow the police execute the bench warrant issued against Hon Chilangwa.
This is in the case where Hon Chitotela and his Kawambwa Central counterpart Hon Chilangwa and five others have been charged with one count of arson, threatening violence, malicious damage to property and four counts of assault.
Other people accused in this case are Kawambwa Mayor Kalumba Chifumbe, Kunda Chitotela, Chabu Chitotela, Davy Kaniki and Charity Chibwe Musanto.
It is alleged that on August 12, 2021, the two lawmakers and five others while acting together assaulted four UPND members, damaged the windscreen of the Mahindra Bolero motor vehicle valued at K400, 000 before allegedly setting it ablaze and further threatened violence.
The accused persons are being represented by Counsels Benjamin Mwelwa and Boniface Chiwala.