LEADERSHIP Movement leader Richard Silumbe and 12 of his party members have appeared in the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court on a charge of possession of offensive weapons or material.
Meanwhile, chief resident magistrate Lameck Mwale has granted the 13 K5,000 cash bail each.
Dr Silumbe, who is also a surgeon, is jointly charged with his party secretary general Browns Sinyangwe, 24, Yamikani Zulu, 37, security guard, Finod Mukubesa, 38, a security guard of Chawama, Gilbert Daka, 37, a truck driver of Kamwala, Isaac Chibuye, 24, unemployed of Kalingalinga, Lazarus Zimba, 47, a businessman of John Laing, Edward Chicheleko, 27, a security guard of Matero, Dismas Chanda, 27, a mini-bus driver of Kamwala South, Amos Tembo, 28, a mini-bus driver of Kamwala South, Elias Banda, 27, a driver of Kanyama, Joseph Chimwendo, 29, an artist of Kanyama Site and Service and Prella Chinga, 30, of Chinika area for possessing 54 machetes, among other offensive weapons.
Allegations are that Zulu, Mukubesa, Daka, Chibula, Zimba, Chicheleko, Chanda, Tembo, Banda, Chimwendo, Chinga, Sinyangwe and Silumbe, on October 14, 2019 whilst acting together and without lawful excuse possessed 54 machetes, six high power stun guns and 13 short buttons.
Magistrate Mwale explained the charge to the 13 but they could not take plea as the director of Public Prosecutions DPP has not yet authorised the prosection of the accused.
“You will not take plea; the offence you are charged with requires consent from the DPP, that is why the charge has been explained to you so that you understand why you are before court,” magistrate Mwale said.
After explanation of the charge, Dr Silumbe and Sinyangwe, through their lawyer Phill Muya of Keith Mweemba Advocates, applied for bail pending trial while the 11 security personnel applied for bail pending trial through their lawyer Alex Chileshe.
The accused applied for bail on account that they were of fixed abode and would abide by conditions the court would give, and that the State or the community would not be prejudiced if they were granted bail.
They said their continued incarceration was against the norms of justice as they had been in custody for over 14 days and were serving a sentence that they have not been convicted of.
In response, senior State prosecutor Bob Mwewa asked the court to verify the sureties when granting the accused bail.
Magistrate Mwale granted the accused bail on conditions that they provide two working sureties, bound in the sum of K30,000 to be paid in their own recognisance. He ordered that the sureties should be permanent residents of Lusaka and that they should provide proof of residence.
Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja had disclosed that the 11 party members were arrested after concerned members of the public spotted them camping in an unfinished building in Lusaka’s Chalala area.
Kanganja said the suspects were found with 55 machetes, six Tezar guns, 17 walkie-talkies, 29 boxes of registration form for Leadership Movement party lead by Dr Silumbe.
He said seven black berets, 13 black shot buttons and 11 pairs of black combat uniforms labelled LM were in possession of the accused.
The matter comes up on November 11 for mention and possible plea.