FORMER President Edgar Lungu’s political advisor Zumani Zimba has pleaded not guilty to aiding two people in engaging in terrorism acts during gassing incidents which rocked the country in 2020.
In this matter, Zimba, who is also a lecturer, is jointly charged with male nurse Portipher Gwai and businessesmen Given Phiri and Marlone Banda.
The suspects are facing three counts of being in possession of terrorism articles, procuring of terrorism articles and aiding of terrorism acts.
In the first count, Phiri and Banda are charged with possession of terrorism articles Contrary to Section 25 of the The Anti-Terrorism and Non- Proliferation Act, 2018 as read with Act No 6 of 2023 of the Laws of Zambia.
Allegations are that that between February 22, 2020, and February 23, 2020, in Petauke, the duo, jointly and while acting together did possess 1 Bottle of 250mills Halothane, a bottle of 350mls Deep 600 and a bottle of 250ML Forane Isoflurand BP, articles for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism or proliferation.
In the second count, Gwai charged with the offence of Procures of terrorism articles Contrary to Section 28 of the The Anti-Terrorism and Non- Proliferation Act, 2018 as read with Act No 6 of 2023 of the Laws of Zambia.
Particulars are that between February 1, 2020 and 22nd February 2020 in Lusaka, procured a Bottle of 250ml Halothane, a Bottle OF 350ml Deep 600 and a Bottle of 250ml Forane Isoflurane, articles used for the commission of a terrorist act or proliferation.
In count three, Zimba is charged with ading of terrorism acts contrary to Section 28 of the The Anti-Terrorism and Non- Proliferation Act, 2018 as read with Act No 6 of 2023 of the Laws of Zambia.
Allegations are that between February 1, 2020 and February 22, 2020 at Lusaka, Zimba aided Phiri and Banda to conduct terrorist act or proliferation in Petauke district.
Yesterday, the accused appeared before Lusaka High Court Judge Koreen Mwenda-Zimba and pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Defence lawyer Benjamin Mwelwa then applied for bail pending trial.
“We have an application for bail and the bail we are applying for before this court is a constitutional bail. We are applying for a constitutional bail for obvious reasons and we shall advance them,” Mr Mwelwa said.
Judge Mwenda-Zimba advised Mr Mwelwa to formally file his application.
” Those obvious reasons are not obvious to thic court.
“Can’t you make your application formerly, file formal documents. And the court will deal with it or give directions in accordance with the law,” Judge Mwenda-Zimba ruled.
The matter will come up again on Thursday this week for possible trial.
(Mwebantu, Tuesday, 5th September, 2023)