UPDATE: TRIAL OF CHIEF MUKUNI’S WIFE

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The Choma Magistrate Court has adjourned the case in which the wife of Chief Mukuni of the Toka-Leya people of Southern Province is facing two counts of abduction, to May 26, 2021.

This was when she and four co-accused appeared for mention before Senior Resident Magistrate Peter Mungala.

Trial in this matter has been set for May 26, 2021, and the bail for all the five accused has been extended.

The five accused, Veronica Mukuni, 46 of Mukuni village in Livingstone, Javen Simoloka, 45, Mayor for Choma, Vincent Lilanda, 49, Mayor for Mazabuka, Ackson Sejani, 63, a peasant farmer and former government Minister as well as Fines Malambo, 46, a businessman of Choma, are all facing two counts of abduction with intent to confine.

The court has also adjourned ruling to May 26, 2021 on the early application made by the defense to compel the state to release mobile phones ceased from some of the accused.

Today, the defense also applied for the court’s intervention over heavy police presence around the court premises during the hearing.

They told the court that the large number of police surrounding the court is intimidating not only to their clients but also to their families and members of the public who wish to follow the proceedings.

The defense also complained of the alleged restriction on media coverage of the court proceedings alleging that only ZANIS and ZNBC had been allowed access to the courtroom.

But State Advocate Kahilu Shitengi argued that the police were merely there to ensure safety for all attending the proceedings including the accused.

He also said he was not aware of any media restrictions.

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