Leader of the opposition Patriots for Economic Progress Sean Tembo has insisted that former PF Deputy Secretary General Mumbi Phiri who has been detained at Mongu Correctional facility for about five months now for an alleged offense of murder should be taken to court or be released immediately.
Mrs. Phiri was in February this year formally arrested and charged with the murder of UPND member Lawrence Banda who was allegedly shot dead in October 2019 during the Kaoma Council Chairperson by-election.
Mr. Tembo says the prolonged incarceration of Mrs. Phiri without trial evidently shows that this is a politically motivated case, given the fact that she was a major critic of the current President Hakainde Hichilema, during his time in opposition.
He said that the publicly known circumstances of the murder in question make it difficult for one to comprehend how two people namely Shelby Chilekwa, the former President’s barber, and Mumbi Phiri could both be involved in shooting a person who is reported to have only been shot once.
Mr. Tembo added that the heavy-handed manner that the State has dealt with this case starting from the initial arrest of Shelby Chilekwa alleged to have been tortured by the Police, had no access to his lawyers, and had visible marks of torture when he appeared is another matter of concern.
He said that given the reluctance of the State for five months now, to take Mrs. Phiri and her co-accused to Court, it is quite apparent that the State may not have sufficient evidence to sustain a murder charge against the duo but want to punish them as much as possible before they can be released.