Shakafuswa pleads not guilty
Published On August 19, 2014 » 2291 Views» By Moses Kabaila Jr: Online Editor » Latest News, Stories
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UNITED Party for National Development (UPND) Katuba Member of Parliament (MP), Jonas Shakafuswa yesterday pleaded not guilty to four counts of assault in relation with political violence that occurred at the weekend in Mangango Constituency.
Shakafuswa, who appeared in the morning before Kaoma magistrate Jane Sifali for plea, said he understood the charges and did not plead guilty to any of them.
In the first count, the Katuba lawmaker is alleged to have assaulted Sikananu Akabondo at Mwanambuyu Primary School in Kaoma District, thereby occasioning him bodily harm.
According to the charge sheet, Shakafuswa is in the second count alleged to have assaulted Bosco Kawanga while in the third and fourth counts, the parliamentarian is accused of occasioning bodily harm on Sinyinda Mukosiku and Phinius Imboela.
Shakafuswa, who was represented by Mwiinga Cheelo from Muleza Mwiimbu and Company, was, however, granted a K2,000 cash bail with two working sureties.
This was after Mr Cheelo applied for bail pending trial, saying Shakafuswa was ready to abide by any conditions that might be attached to his freedom as he awaited trial.
Mr Cheelo said these offences were bailable and prayed that the court would exercise its discretion by releasing him because the nation would be deprived of his contribution as member Parliament if he remained in custody.
The State did not object to the application although magistrate Sifali said Shakafuswa, who spent a night in cells, could only be released after payment of K2,000.
The matter has since been adjourned to September 18 for commencement of trial.
Police arrested Shakafuswa on Sunday in connection with the violence that occurred in Namafulo Ward ahead of today’s Mangango parliamentary by-election.
He spent the night in cells at Kaoma Central Police Station before appearing in court yesterday.
Shakafuswa was accompanied by Kalomo Central MP Request Muntanga and a few UPND cadres as he was led from the police cells to the court which is just about 20 metres away.
In the same court, a 36-year-old peasant farmer of Samwaka Village pleaded not guilty to two counts of assault and malicious damage to property.
Yohane Ngaundabu Chitowe, while acting together with others is alleged to have damaged two motor vehicles belonging to Luampa MP Josephine Limata in Limata Village.
He was, however, released on bail pending trial on September 18, 2014.

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