The High Court sitting in Zomba on Tuesday adjourned the start of
The court on January 28 this year found the suspects with cases to answer over the murder.
The State, through lawyer Joel Matonga, asked the court to adjourn the hearing on three grounds. First, two of the State lawyers—Steven Kayuni and Dzikondianthu Malunda—were not present in the court. Second, the defence had not served the State with the list of witnesses to testify before the court; and third, Ian Twea, the lawyer representing Roman Catholic priest Thomas Muhosha, is to be replaced by another lawyer who was not present in the court.
In response, Legal Aid Bureau lawyer Trouble Kalua, representing nine suspects in the case, objected to the adjournment, saying the absence of the two State lawyers should not affect the proceedings of the case.
He said the presence of Matonga in the court meant the State had confidence in him to handle the matters.
Kalua said the matter needs speed for justice to prevail as any delays will not favour the accused persons, particularly those that are not guilty, and further adjournments are consuming a lot of time and resources.
On his part, lawyer representing clinical officer Lumbani Kamanga, Timothy Chirwa, concurred with Kalua, saying further adjournments are attracting questions from the public on why the case is being dragged.
But Judge Zione Ntaba said while she agrees with the State that the case needs speedy trial, the court reluctantly adjourned the case based on the order it made on August 23 2018 that the defence should serve the State with the list of witnesses days before the hearing.
She said: “Therefore, the defence should remit a list of witnesses to the State by March 8 2019 as well as changes of lawyer Twea should be made by the same day and failure to submit the name of the new lawyer will force the court to order Twea to proceed with the case.”
Finally, Ntaba after receiving submissions of the list of witness and name of lawyer, said the High Court registrar will communicate when the hearing of the case will start. n