The Lusaka Magistrates’ Court has adjourned to March 2, 2020 the case where a businessman and UPND member Mwangala Nkonde Ngalande is charged with treason for allegedly attempting to overthrow the government of President Edgar Lungu.
The adjournment was made after the State made an application, saying one of its witnesses in the matter needed a Bulgarian interpreter while the other state witness had a bereavement and was in Eastern Province.
Mr. Ngalande, 58, of plot number 7 Ben Bella Road, Roma Township, who was detained on November 26, 2019, is alleged to have between August 1, 2019 and December 1, 2019 in Lusaka jointly and whilst acting together with other persons unknown, prepared or endeavored to overthrow by unlawful means the government of the Republic of Zambia as by law established.
His charge is accompanied by three overt acts which allege that during the same period, he conspired with Simon Njobvu to assassinate President Lungu, Chief Justice Ireen Mambalima, Speaker of the National Assembly Dr. Patrick Matibini, Defence minister Davies Chama and Service Chiefs.
Mr. Ngalande is also alleged to have conspired with Njobvu to source for international funding and actually obtained $1.6 million to be utilized in the over throwing of the government of the Republic of Zambia.
The accused is further alleged to have recruited 10 people for military training, a militia for purposes of overthrowing the government.
Lusaka chief resident magistrate Lameck Mwale instituted the preliminary inquiry in the matter to ascertain whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant Ngalande to undergo trial for attempting to overthrow President Lungu’s government.
This followed an application by Ngalande’s lawyer Martha Mushipe.
A witness, Chitongo Lubita, a social worker and now plumber at Levy Mwanawasa Hospital, has so far testified in the matter.
And when the public prosecutor Juvenalis Kamtondole called the matter, he said the state was not ready as one of the witnesses lined up was in Eastern Province for a bereavement while the other witness was before court but there was no Bulgarian interpreter.
Magistrate Mwale then asked witness Angelos Krasmire if he does not understand English.
The witness, in response, said he understands a bit but would rather speak through an interpreter.
The defence lawyer then said she was concerned with the manner the State is dragging the matter as the accused has been in custody since November 26, 2019 because of the nature of the matter.
Magistrate Mwale urged the state to expedite the hearing of the matter and that he would engage the office of the senior clerk of court to organise an interpreter and adjourned the case to March 2.
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