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I did not vote for President Hakainde Hichilema…

Ndola Magistrate Court has imposed a fine of K100 on a 40-year-old man, Cornelius Kolala, for engaging in conduct likely to cause a breach of peace. Failure to pay the fine will result in a three-month simple imprisonment sentence.

Mr. Kolala was arrested by the police during the International Trade Fair for standing in front of the Presidential motorcade while wearing a yellow T-shirt with the message, ‘I did not vote for President Hakainde Hichilema.’

The offense was admitted by Mr. Kolala while he was in police custody.

During the court hearing before Ndola Magistrate Benny Akende, it was revealed that on June 29, 2023, as the Republican President was entering the Zambia International Trade Fair grounds, Mr. Kolala positioned himself in front of the motorcade, displaying his message while wearing the yellow T-shirt.

In his plea for mitigation, Mr. Kolala expressed remorse and sought forgiveness from both the public and the court. He assured the court that if given a second chance, he would behave responsibly within the community.

Mr. Kolala emphasized that his intention was not to annoy anyone but rather to exercise his rights by expressing his lack of support for the Republican President through his statement.

In delivering the ruling, Ndola Magistrate Benny Akende emphasized the importance of expressing opinions and exercising rights responsibly, without causing disruptions or breaching public peace. He stated, “While citizens have the right to freedom of expression, it is crucial to exercise this right in a manner that respects the rights and freedoms of others and does not jeopardize public order.”

The case of Cornelius Kolala serves as a reminder of the need to balance individual rights with the maintenance of peace and order in society. It highlights the responsibility of citizens to express their opinions within the bounds of the law, considering the potential consequences of their actions on public order.