The persecution of UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema will start on Tuesday, January 15, 2013.
The PF regime arrested and arraigned Hichilema before judges after the Post newspaper published lies that he published statements that can cause alarm.
The PF government and police are relying on a single cutting from the Post newspaper which has publicly declared Hichilema an enemy.
According to the falsehoods in the Post, Hichilema is maliciously quoted as saying:
“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?’
There are four daily newspapers, more than 30 radio stations, about five TV stations and many news websites but only the Post Newspaper heard Hichilema say those words.
And, the so called-alarming statement was not made exclusively but reportedly made in public.
When the matter came up for trial on Monday, Hichilema’s lawyers said they are still preparing themselves.
Hichilema’s lawyer Sakwiba Sikota applied for an adjournment so that his team could obtain instructions from their client.
Sikota told the court that in view of the High Court ruling to refer back the matter to the magistrate court despite citing constitutional issues that are likely to arise during prosecution, the team hoped that the same shall not be used as stay for the proceedings in this matter.
He told the court that his team was not ready to proceed with trial today because they were waiting for full instructions from their client upon knowing the status of the matter.
This was despite the state prosecution team being ready to begin trial today. The prosecution team did not however object to the defence’s application.
A certain Phiri who was leading the persecutors stated that considering that the dates for trial were set last year in December, the adjournment should be short.
Magistrate Banda directed that the case comes up tomorrow for commencement of trial.
Hichilema 50, is facing one charge of fabrication of false news with intent to cause fear and alarm to the public contrary to section 67 (1) (2) of the penal code and cap 87 of the laws of Zambia.
It is alleged that Hichilema on June 11, 2012 did orally publish statements in which he said the PF had signed an arrangement with militia of Sudan to train PF youths.