CAROLINE KALOMBE, Lusaka
A witness yesterday told the Lusaka High Court that former Lusaka Province minister Obvious Mwaliteta and his co-accused persons in an aggravated robbery charge were placed at the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) headquarters when three officials were attacked following the August 11, 2016 national elections.
Mwaliteta, 46, a politician, is jointly charged with Evans Mukobela, 44, a student; Macmillan Shimukonka, 33, an operations manager; Laswell Phiri, 42, a businessman; and Emmanuel Mumbi on two counts of aggravated robbery.
When the case came up for continued trial before Mr Justice Mwape Bowa, acting police superintendent Arthur Shonga said he was assigned to investigate the incident.
Mr Shonga said his investigations revealed that former Western Province commissioner of police Fanwell Siandenge had informed the five that materials were being ferried from Lusaka City Airport to the ECZ headquarters.
Mr Shonga said during his investigations he discovered that Mr Siandenge was in contact with the now incarcerated UPND supporters as was revealed by call records from Airtel and MTN.
He said a police officer had seen Mr Siandenge in the company of Mwaliteta at the ECZ headquarters immediately before the attack on the ECZ officials who were carrying election materials.
Particulars are that on August 14, 2016 the four, in Lusaka, jointly and while acting together, stole ECZ election statements and threatened the officials with violence.
Meanwhile, the High Court has reserved ruling in an application to set aside, because of duplicity of action and abuse of court, a petition in which United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema and five others want to be released on bail and compensated for their arrest.
Hichilema has turned to the High Court and Constitutional Court demanding monetary compensation for his arrest on a treason charge and to be allowed to apply for bail pending trial.
Hichilema, Hamaleka Hamuchinde, Hachinda Muleya, Laston Mulilanduba, Pretorius Haloba and Wallace Chakawa are jointly charged with treason and were last week committed to the High Court for trial.
And Hichilema and his co-accused persons want to be allowed to apply for bail by the Constitutional Court pending trial.
The Attorney General’s office has asked the Constitution Court to set aside the petition and substitute the respondent in the matter.
In an affidavit filed in the Constitutional Court, chief State advocate Joe Simachela notes that there are two separate petitions filed in the same court and the High Court.
Mr Simachela said Hichilema’s petitions are based on the same facts, hence a duplicity of action and abuse of court process.