United Party for National Development (UPND) Lusaka Province chairperson Obvious Mwaliteta was yesterday rearrested in connection with the case of possessing offensive weapons. Police officers who arrested Mwaliteta assumed that the Director of Public Prosecutions had entered a nolle prosequi in a matter the politician is accused of being found with weapons.
The drama unfolded after Mwaliteta and his co-accused, James Sichomba, who are on bail, had just appeared before magistrate Alice Walusiku for the case which was adjourned. This is in a case Mwaliteta and Sichomba, a businessman, are charged with being found with offensive weapons or materials.
On March 27 this year in Kafue, Mwaliteta and Sichomba allegedly had improvised machetes and one metal hoe. They are also accused of being in possession of one wooden pick handle, two stones and a knife, without lawful excuse. Last week, magistrate Walusiku advised the State to make an appropriate application to have the matter taken back to Kafue where the offence was allegedly committed. And when the matter came up yesterday, the prosecution team applied for an adjournment because Mwaliteta and Sichomba’s defence lawyer, Zevyanji Sinkala, was not before court. Magistrate Walusiku adjourned the matter to Monday. But as Mwaliteta, who was in the company of his children and sympathisers, left the courtroom, some plain-clothes officers walked towards him and led him to a white police vehicle, which was parked outside the holding cell. Displeased with the development, Mwaliteta’s relatives and UPND sympathisers were heard asking where the politician was being taken since the matter had just been adjourned
In response, one of the officers said the suspects were being taken to Kafue as the car drove off. At this point, some senior police officers were seen making phone calls directing their colleagues to take back the suspects to the magistrate’s court complex. After a while, the police van carrying Mwaliteta and Sichomba was seen getting back as another officer went to help release Mwaliteta. “Go home, your case has been adjourned to Monday,” the officer told Mwaliteta.