Court News

‘Gassers’ denied bail

By CHARLES MUSONDA
TWELVE men face up to life imprisonment for acts of terror related to recent incidences of gassing people’s homes.
The accused persons who are from Chikankata, Kafue and Chingola districts appeared in court yesterday on charges of aiding, abating, counseling, procuring, inciting, or soliciting the commission of a terrorist act or proliferation.
They are Feston Mwanza, 45, a farmer of Mulawo settlement in Chikankata, Bright Halwanza, 34, a farmer of Nalwama in Chikankata, Essau Zenene, 35 a farmer of Nega-Nega in Chikankata, Tom Jabala, 43, a businessman of Kabweze in Kafue, Derrick Mwiinga, 28, a businessman of Chikaknta, and a 16-year-old grade nine pupil of Nalwama village in Chikankata.
Others are Osward Hamalala, a farmer of Nega-Nega in Chikankata, Charles Mungaila, 32, a farmer of Chikankata, Sydney Hakalinda, 37, a farmer/businessman of Nega-Nega in Chikankata, Elijah Mwiinga, 25, a charcoal burner of Kafue, and Everisto Hamalala, 33, a fork lift operator on Chingola district.
They are charged under section 28 of the Anti-Terrorism and Non- Proliferation Act number 6 of 2018 of the Laws of Zambia.
It is alleged that between February 1 and 29, 2020 in Lusaka, the 12 aided, abated, concealed, procured, incited or solicited the commission of a terrorist act or proliferation.
In the second it is alleged that between the same dates, the accused persons committed a terrorist act intending to cause death or serious harm to Brenda Tembo by releasing into the environment dangerous, hazardous, harmful substance, toxic chemical or other toxins.
In count three it is alleged that between same dates the 12 committed a terrorist act intending to cause death or serious harm to Martha Mazaba by releasing into the environment dangerous, hazardous, harmful substance, toxic chemicals among other toxins.
In count four it is alleged that between the same dates the 12 committed a terrorist act intending to cause death or harm to Emmanuel Lwaisha by releasing into the environment dangerous, hazardous, harmful substance, toxic chemicals among other toxins.
In counts five to 15 the allegation is that the accused persons committed a terrorist act intending to cause death or serious harm to 11 victims by releasing into the environment dangerous, hazardous, harmful substance, toxic chemicals among other toxins.
The victims are Emmanuel Lwaisha, Memory Banda, Taonga Banda, Esther Banda, Nathan Phiri, and Violet Nyirenda. The rest are Anthony Nyirenda, Caroline Zulu, Minson Zulu, and Regina Phiri.
They appeared before Lusaka Chief Resident Magistrate Lameck Mwale for explanation of the charge which they understood.
Mr. Mwale then told them that the offence they are facing is only tried by the High Court after which they applied for bail.
But public prosecutor Stuyvesant Malambo said the offence they are facing is serious and they should not be granted bail for the sake of their security.
Mr. Malambo said they should not be granted because in the past suspected gassers were being attacked by mobs.
But lawyer representing Hakalinda, Lastone Mwanabo, urged the court to grant the accused bail because the prosecution’s arguments were based on speculation.

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