The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has, as was expected taken over the case in which Minister of Religious Affairs Rev Godfridah Sumaili is accused of contempt of court.
This is in a case were Rev Sumaili was dragged to court by UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema and five others for commenting on the fake treason case which has since been dropped by the Director of Public Prosecutions -DPP.
The DPP had applied to take over the matter when it first came up but Hichilema’s lawyers had objected. However when the matter came up today before Magistrate Ireen Wishimanga, lawyers representing the UPND leader withdrew their application to object to the DPP’s application to take over the matter.
The DPP had earlier argued and claimed that Mr Hichilema cannot hire private lawyers to prosecute a criminal case because all criminal matters in Zambia are supposed to be prosecuted by her office.
Upon the DPP taking over the case, Reverend Sumaili later took a plea of not guilty in the matter and the matter has since been adjourned to September 25th for commencement of trial.
The DPP is expected to discontinue the matter via the abused nolle prosequi when the matter comes up on September 25 for commencement of trial.
Rev Sumaili is represented by Eric Silwamba while Mr Hichilema is represented by Keith Mweemba and others.
Mr Hichilema had asked the court to institute contempt of court proceedings against Sumaili over her prejudicial comments that “HH pushed lungu to the wall by not recognising him as the president and that is why he is in prison.’’
Most of the cases linked with Hichilema’s dropped fake treason case have been discontinued by the DPP.