Magistrate orders trial against Lukuku without defence counsel 

By Staff Reporter
LUSAKA chief resident magistrate Lameck Mwale yesterday, Friday declined to adjourn Republican Progressive Party president James Lukuku’s case on account of him looking for a lawyer.
And trial has commenced with Chief Registrar of SocietiesThandiwe Mhende testfiying how her office received a request from Zambia police headquarters for information relating to Lukuku’s parties.
Lukuku is charged with two counts of sedition and expressing hatred or contempt against Chinese nationals due to their race, the charges he denies.
It is alleged in the first court that Lukuku between 1 and 5 November, 2018 uttered a seditious speech titled ‘Kitwe riots against China are welcome, let us multiply these riots a million fold.
The said statement was circulated to five WhatsApp groups.
In count two,  Lukuku  is alleged to have uttered words, expressing and showing hatred for Chinese nationals because of their race, place of origin when he allegedly  issued the statement in which he called for people to protest against the Chinese.
When the case was called, the prosecution indicated that they were ready to proceed to trial but Lukuku, who is unrepresented, said he needed more time to engage a lawyer.
He informed the court that he has been to Legal Aid Board  to seek services of a lawyer and that he has been promised to be allocated one.
He said he needed time to finalise on the issue.
Magistrate Mwale asked Lukuku to provide proof which he failed to adduce.
The magistrate then declined to adjourn the case, saying doing so will delay it further because Lukuku was given sufficient time to engage a lawyer from the time he first appeared in court.
He ordered trial to proceed forthwith and Mhende testified that after searching the file for Lukuku’s party using her deputy Sipho Banda, it was discovered that the party was registered on February 9, 2016 and the office bearers included the accused as president.
And in cross examination, Lukuku wondered why it was not him dragged to court in his individual capacity when the party constitution states that it is the secretary general to be charged.
Magistrate Mwale interjected and reminded him that he was facing a criminal matter as James Lukuku and not his party.
Hearing continues on July 26.