UPND Copperbelt chairman Elisha Matambo and seven others have remained in custody after their case of aggravated robbery failed to be committed to the High Court for the third time on Monday.
In this case, UPND Copperbelt chairman Elisha Matambo and seven other party members were charged with aggravated robbery after they allegedly intercepted a vehicle they suspected to have carried pre-marked ballot papers for the August 11 general elections.
In the first count, it is alleged that on August 14, the eight UPND members jointly whilst acting together robed a ballot box from Misheck Chiluba.
In the second count, it is alleged that the eight stole a laptop, two cellphones, an ID and K700 cash from Thomson Phiri.
The other UPND officials, appearing before Kitwe magistrate Leonard Tembo for mention, were identified as Teddy Kapanda, Abel Musukwa, Stuart Kapumba, Linos Mwila, Ronald Manenga, Cable Matumbo and Warren Chinyama. But when the matter came up for a mention, the state informed the court that instructions from the DPP were not ready.
“We don’t have the instructions from the DPP yet. But I am sure we will have the instructions by Wednesday,” the state informed the court, amid shouts of displeasure from the sympathisers who filled the courtroom.
Magistrate Tembo then said he could give the state a benefit of doubt and adjourned the matter to Wednesday.
Defence lawyer Tom Shamakamba who, during the last sitting, applied for preliminary investigations, asked the court to reserve the ruling.
Shamakamba in his application, challenged state prosecutors to explain why his clients were being kept in “penal block 24/7 as if they have been convicted”.
Outside the court, armed police officers kept vigil as hundreds of UPND supporters and sympathisers gathered within and outside the court premises to give solidarity to their leaders.
In Lusaka, former Lusaka Province minister Obvious Mwaliteta, who joined the UPND prior to the August 11 elections, together with several other opposition party official,s are still in detention at Lusaka Remind Prison.