Six accused persons who are jointly charged with Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader, Kasonde Mwenda, have recanted and accepted the charges after pleading not guilty at the last sitting.
The accused persons left Mwenda in shock as they said they were guilty of the charge.
Meanwhile, magistrate, Amy Masoja, has sentenced them to three months imprisonment but suspended it for six months.
In this matter, Mwenda was charged with unlawful assembly and escaping from lawful custody.
Mwenda is jointly charged with 20 others who include; George Mumbi, Zenis Daka, Bale Suzo, Ibrahim Mwamba, Joseph Lungu, Danny Kalenga, Nathan Kamau, Gift Nguni, Jeff Filamba and Thomas Mvula.
Others include: Nkole Mubanga, Changala Siame, Astone Mwanza, Bwalya Katongo, Victor Malauni, Coaster Museke, Collins Munyinda, Moses Nyirenda, Beatrice Pilo and Gilbert Njobvu.
However, when the matter came up for commencement of trial, Zenus Daka, Nkole Mubanga, Laston Mwanza, Moses Nyenda, Victor Malauni and Coaster Museke changed their plea and pleaded guilty to the charge.
All the six accused persons said they where guilty and did conduct themselves in such a manner as to cause persons in the neighborhood reasonably to fear that the persons so assembled will commit a breach of peace.
Facts of the matter against the six accused persons is that on March 10, 2023, around 12:00, police officers from Lusaka Central Police Station received information from reliable sources that there were some unknown people who had assembled at civic centre area in Lusaka with an intention to cause the breach of peace.
Acting on the matter, some officers were mobilised to visit the scene and found the now accused persons who were assembled there.
The accused were taken to Lusaka Central Police Station where detective chief inspector Mooya took up the matter where he interviewed, charged and arrested the accused for the subject offense.
Under warn and caution statements, they reportedly voluntarily admitted the charge.
The court found them guilty according to their own admission. In mitigation they all said it was because of group influence and they will never repeat.
“I have considered that convict’s are first offenders. I want to note that being a convict is already a punishment enough. I sentence them to three months but the whole sentence has been suspended for six months,” magistrate Amy Masoja ruled.
Kasonde and 13 others pleaded not guilty and are expected to proceed with trial on September 18, 2023.
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