DIRECTOR of Public Prosecutions Mutembo Nchito has discontinued a case in which UPND president Hakainde Hichilema was charged with publication of false news with intent to cause fear and alarm to the public, according to the Post newspaper.
In this case, it was alleged that Hichilema, on June 11, 2012 in Lusaka, orally published statements in which he said, inter alia, that, “PF had signed an arrangement for the militia in Sudan to train PF youths. Prepare for trouble”.
“Do you know what is going on in Darfur? Do you know what is going on in Abyei? Do you know what is going on there? Killings!” statements likely to cause fear and alarm to the public. Hichilema pleaded not guilty to the charge before principal resident magistrate Aridah Chulu. But Nchito has entered a nolle prosequi in the case against Hichilema pursuant to the powers vested in him by section 81 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code Chapter 88 of the Laws of Zambia. “Following the decision of the High Court, in the case of Macdonald Chipenzi, Richard Sakala and Simon Mwanza v The People, to strike down section 67 for its lack of consistency with the Constitution and the declaration that ‘a prosecution based on section 67 of the Penal Code is itself inconsistent with the constitutional guarantee and equally invalid’, it has become necessary to discontinue the proceedings against Mr Hichilema. A nolle prosequi pursuant to section 81 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code Chapter 88 of the Laws of Zambia has therefore been filed into court to discontinue the proceedings,” read the statement issued by the National Prosecutions Authority. And the NPA further stated that they sought guidance from acting Attorney General Abraham Mwansa on the ruling of the High Court in the case of Macdonald Chipenzi and Others where he has directed that it should be appealed against.