THE Lusaka Magistrate’s Court has issued a bench warrant of arrest Republican Progressive Party leader James Lukuku for failing to appear in court on two occasions.
Lukuku is in court charged with two counts of sedition and expressing hatred or contempt against Chinese because of their race.
Meanwhile, chief resident magistrate Lameck Mwale has ordered that Lukuku’s sureties be equally summoned.
When the matter came up for continuation of trial, State prosecutor Stuyvesant Malambo made an application to have Lukuku placed on warrant.
“Your honour, this is the second time the accused has failed to avail himself before court without communication. He is defeating the course of justice. Our application is to have him brought under warrant of arrest and if granted, may the warrant be returned on September 24,” said Malambo.
Magistrate Mwale granted the application by the State to have Lukuku arrested.
“It is hereby ordered that the accused be compelled to appear before court on warrant. This is the second time he is absconding without a reason. I further order that the sureties be summoned,” ordered magistrate Mwale.
Allegations in the matter are that Lukuku, between 1 and 5 November 2018, uttered a seditious speech titled ‘Kitwe riots against China are welcome, let us multiply these riots a million fold’ in a statement that was circulated to five WhatsAap groups.
Lukuku is also alleged to have uttered words and published writings expressing and showing hatred for Chinese because of their race, place of origin when he issued the statement in which he called for people to protest against the Chinese dominance in Zambia.
The court has urged Lukuku to ensure that he seeks legal representation failure to which it will continue with trial.
The matter comes up on September 24.