One of UPND President Hakainde Hichilema’s lawyers Gilbert Phiri writes….
The second Overt Act that Mr. Hakainde Hichilema and other accused persons face concerns alleged obstruction of the Mongu Limulunga Road on 8th April. The allegation is that the incarcerated accused persons worked with 60 other drivers on the said Road in order to cause the death of the President of Zambia with the intention of taking over government. Now this is such a laughable and plainly silly charge that has unfortunately made this country a laughing stock and I have struggled to see what the overt act is here.
There is no overt act here. None at all!!! Is the overt act that of driving on the road? For the sake of the analysis, Let us assume driving a car to a traditional ceremony is the overt act…The state (DPP) must then prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused persons were: 1. Driving cars on the road. If the state can’t prove just this simple issue then this alleged overt act cannot be proved. Witnesses must come to court and testify that they saw each accused person driving a specific vehicle.
2. Maybe, because we dealing with fantasy charges here, the DPP may strive to prove that the drivers of the 60 vehicles were under the forceful command and control of the accused persons to drive cars on this road and did so under fear. You can see how silly this whole alleged overt act is! But it gets even absurd…
3. Apart from proving that vehicles were driven by the accused, the state must demonstrate that the collective intention of the accused persons driving cars on that Mongu Limulunga road was to cause the death of the President. We shall pause here. If this was a script of a cartoon show, it would be funny but this is real! Colossal amounts of money will be spent on this circus (sorry) trial. Now, not even a Sangoma or a prophet can satisfactorily prove in court the intention of people in a convoy of cars driving to attend a traditional ceremony! Why do silly politicians want to waste tax payers’ money and valuable time of Judicial officers and lawyers trying an issue of highly nonsensical value, if anything?
4. For a judge to reach a conclusion that the state (DPP) has proved this overt act, he has to firstly believe that driving a car on the way to a traditional ceremony is capable of being an overt act.( Anyone who has been through First Year of Law School anywhere on the planet since records began is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, incapable of reaching such a conclusion)!
5. Assuming such a judge exists who is capable of believing anything, he must further be convinced by the state prosecutors that a passenger of a vehicle coming from behind with three (3) sweeping police cars ahead of his vehicle was put in danger by slow moving vehicles he encountered in front of his car but all moving in the same direction!!Don’t forget that what the state has to prove is that the intention of more than 60 people driving slowly to the Kuomboka ceremony was to kill or grievously injure the President so that HH can take over as President. Further, the state has to show that had the President died on that road, HH would have taken over government despite the provisions of the current constitution which would make the Vice President an immediate successor of an incumbent who dies in office. Now only the PF politicians know how this overt act will be proved to the satisfaction of any Judge. Let us wait and see…countdown will continue to Monday.