A police officer yesterday narrated in the Ndola Magistrate Court how he arrested PF Kamba ward councillor Oscar Himanga and another ruling party official for allegedly smuggling mealie-meal to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
This is in a case where, Himanga, 42 and Kombe Musonda, a PF official in Ndola, are charged with smuggling of mealie-meal which was found in a mini bus.
Himanga, who is also PF Ndola district youth chairman, and Musonda were arrested early on January 23, 2019 for assembling mealie meal for the purpose of smuggling.
The duo is alleged to have, jointly and whilst acting with others unknown, assembled 70 bags of mealie meal for the purpose of smuggling.
Police officer Gervis Mwamba, when testifying, said he found the two around 04:00 hours with bags of mealie-meal on the material day.
He testified before Ndola Principal resident magistrate Obbister Musukwa that at around 04:00hours while patrolling the border post in the company of five other police officers, he intercepted a Toyota mini bus registration number ALB 2270 which had bags of mealie meal.
Mwamba said he later decided to detain Himanga and Musonda for the offence of assembling for the purpose of smuggling and handed them over to the arresting officer who charged them with the subject offence.
During cross examination, the lawyers for the accused asked the arresting officer to state if there was a ban on mealie meal in Zambia. But he said there was none.
The defence lawyers were further not satisfied with Mwamba’s testimony about having arrested the duo from the border post and made an application that the court visits the area of arrest to determine the officer’s testimony.
Senior Public Prosecutor Innocent Kamunga did not object to the application, but expressed concern that the state was not ready to move to the scene due to logistics.
The defense, however, objected and raised concern that moving the site visit to another date would prejudice their clients fearing that the state would alter what the witness said in court.
After listening to the defense and the prosecution, magistrate Musukwa adjourned the matter to next Monday when the court would move to the scene where the two accused were arrested.