Police have charged Mwangala Ngalande with attempting to assassinate President Edgar Lungu
Mr Ngalande appeared in the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court on allegations of procuring weapons to assassinate President Edgar Lungu and some senior goverment officials.
Mwangala Nkonde Ngalande is accused of plotting to assassinate including defence chiefs, defence minister, Chief Justice Irene Mambilima, the National Assembly Speaker and deputy Speaker.
Mr. Ngalande has since been charged with one count of treason accompanied by three overt Acts.
It is alleged that between August 1, 2019 and December 1, 2019 in Lusaka jointly and whilst acting together with other persons unknown endavoured to overthrow by unlawful means the Government of the Republic of Zambia as established by the law.
And according to Overt Act 1, Ngalande between August 1 2019 and December 1, 2019 in Lusaka conspired with Simon Njobvu to procure military equipment namely AK47 Assault Riffles, pistols and rocker propelled grenades for the purpose of assassinating Edgar Chagwa Lungu the Republican President and other senior Government officials who include service chiefs, minister of defence, Davies Chama, Chief Justice Irene Mambilima and Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini and his deputy Catherine Namugala
In Overt Act no 2, Ngalande on the same date is alleged to have conspired with Njobvu to source for international funding and actually obtained 1.6 million United States dollars to be utilised in the over throwing of the Government of the Republic of Zambia.
It is further alleged in Overt Act 3 that on the same date, Ngalande jointly and whilst acting together with other persons unknown recruited 10 people for military training, a militia for the purposes of overthrowing the Government of the Republic of Zambia.
When the matter came up for explanation of the charge before Chief Resident Magistrate Lameck Mwale, Ngalande told the court that he understood the charge.
Magistrate Mwale, however informed him that he could not take plea as the charge he was facing was triable by the High Court after consent from the Director of Public Prosecution ( DPP ) was issued.
But before Mwale could adjourn the case, Ngalande’s defence lawyer Martha Mushipe applied for a premilinary inquiry (PI) pursuant to section 223 of the criminal procedure code (CPC ) to establish whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant the accused to be commited to the High Court for trial
Mushipe said according to the provisions of section 223, it was mandatory for the court to hold a Preliminary inquiry in cases like the one Ngalande was facing to establish whether there was truth in the allegations.
She said she was ready to proceed with the preliminary inquiry.
Mushipe also applied that the magistrate court directs the police or prison authorities to allow the lawyers access to the accused person.
She said Ngalande has been under custody of prison authorities since November 26, 2019 but lawyers have had limited access to the client to enable them obtain instructions.
Mushipe said Ngalande had been held in excommucado and has been taken to different police stations around the country.
She also told the court that even the few times lawyers had been granted access to Ngalande, it had been in the presence of police officers.
But State prosecutor Juvenalis Kamutondole in response said Mushipe has not demonstrated how the case had been delayed and urged the court not to entertain her application for the preliminary inquiry.
But magistrate Mwale granted the defence’s application as the privisions of the law requiring for the same was couched in
Magistrate Mwale advised the State to mobilize witnesses to testify in the preliminary inquiry.
He also said the accused had the right to legal representation and confidentiality while lawyers were obtaining instructions and directed the prisons authority to accord Ngalande such an opportunity in the interest of justice.
Magistrate has since adjourned the case to January 17, 2020 for mention and possible hearing of