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Former Presidential Political Advisor and Three Others Plead Not Guilty to Terrorism Charges

File:President Lungu with his new Special Assistant for Politics. Dr Chris Zumani Zimba during the swearing in Ceremony

Former Presidential Political Advisor, Dr. Chris Zimba, aged 44, of Chongwe, along with his three co-accused, have entered not guilty pleas to terrorism charges. The pleas were made before Lusaka High Court Judge Koreen Mwenda.

Dr. Zimba’s co-accused include Given Phiri, aged 36, Marlon Banda, aged 34, and Portipher Gwai, aged 44. The four are scheduled to stand trial, with proceedings set to commence on Thursday.

According to the charges, it is alleged that Dr. Zimba, at some point between February 1 and February 22, 2020, in Lusaka, aided Mr. Phiri and Mr. Banda in conducting terrorist acts in the Petuake district of the Eastern Province.

Mr. Phiri and Mr. Banda are accused of possessing, between February 22 and February 23, 2020, in Petuake, a 250-milliliter quantity of Halothane and other substances, which were allegedly intended to be used as tools for the commission of acts of terrorism.

Meanwhile, Mr. Gwai is facing one count of procuring terrorism articles, as stipulated under Section 28 of the Anti-Terrorism and Non-Proliferation Act.

The accused individuals were taken into custody in May of this year.