Thursday, November 03, 2011

James pleads not guilty to assault charge

James pleads not guilty to assault charge
By Maluba Jere
Thu 03 Nov. 2011, 14:10 CAT

FORMER president Rupiah Banda's son James yesterday denied having assaulted former Finance Bank executive director Noel Nkhoma.

Taking plea before chief resident magistrate Joshua Banda, James who is being defended by lawyers Eric Silwamba and Lubinda Linyama said he understood the charge but denied committing the offence.

James is facing one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm contrary to Section 248 of the Penal Code Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia.

It is alleged that James, a 51-year-old businessman of House number 34 Mutende road Woodlands, on October 12, 2011, in Lusaka, assaulted Nkhoma thereby occasioning him actual bodily harm.

After James took plea, the state informed the court that it would call five witnesses in the matter.

Magistrate Banda set November 28 for mention and December 13 for commencement of trial.

Several MMD supporters accompanied James to court, among them Edward Mumbi and Gregory Chifire.

And trial in the case where William Banda is charged with one count of proposing violence failed to commence because four more people had been arrested and were yet to be jointly charged with him.

It is alleged that William on September 3, 2011 in Chongwe without lawful excuse, incited violence by instructing MMD cadres to beat and chase PF cadres by purporting that it was desirable.

When the matter came up for commencement of trial before magistrate Banda, division prosecution officer Christopher Kanema informed the court that the state was unable to proceed with trial because the four people were supposed to be jointly charged with William.

Kanema said the four were arrested for offences ranging from unlawful wounding, assault and theft contrary to the Laws of Zambia.

William's lawyer Sunday Nkonde then submitted that the grounds advanced by the state for failing to commence trial were not convincing because they the state had been investigating the case for some time now.

Ruling on the application, magistrate Banda said the state ought to show some seriousness in the case because delays in court proceedings perpetuated injustice somehow.

He said he would not entertain such delays in the matter and set November 9, this year as the date for mentioning the case.

Magistrate Banda also told the state to formally make the application to jointly charge William with the four people who had been arrested on the day the case comes up for mention.

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