THE State has withdrawn the case in which nine UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema’s personnel were facing one count of obstructing police officers from carrying out their duty.
The nine are Nabwengwa Manyika, Victor Chilombo, Daniel Mizinga, Vincent Mulongo, Hamaleka Regan, Pretorius Haaloba, Spearman Mumbuluma, Obert Mulomba and Ezron Moono who all pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The nine were arrested in 2013 during the infamous Livingstone parliamentary by-election and comprised security personnel, farm workers and drivers.
When the matter came up for commencement of trial on Tuesday June 16, 2015, before Livingstone Magistrate Edsen Shanduba, the State told the court that it was not ready to proceed with trial but that it was seeking for yet another adjournment.
But the defence lawyers who were representing the nine accused, John Kapepe of MAK Partners and Fredrick Chunga of Silweya and Company, objected to the application by the State.
The defence lawyers argued that the case has taken long, saying that the State should discontinue the case if it had failed to prosecute the matter.
Mr. Chunga and Mr. Kapepe applied to the court to discharge the accused person on account of lack of prosecution.
Making a ruling, Magistrate Shanduba advised the State to follow the sections of the law and withdraw the case so that the case could resume once the State was ready.
The State later applied to withdraw the matter and the application was granted.
It was alleged on February 26, 2013 in Livingstone district, the nine whilst acting together did obstruct a team of police officers led by Renwick Sichembe from carrying out their duty contrary to the laws of Zambia.
The nine obstructed the officers from arresting the UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema during the Livingstone by-election after the opposition leader was accused of inciting violence.
Since 2013, the accused have been appearing in court without being tried.