Mine marketing manager Danny Li Shau (l) talking to his colleagues in a court
cell at Choma magistrates’ court yesterday
Choma magistrate Willie Sinyangwe
yesterday granted a K100 million bail to the two Chinese Collum Coal Mine
managers accused of shooting 13
However, the duo, who appeared for mention, will only be
released today from police custody after they meet the bail conditions which
they could not meet yesterday.
The duo, Xiao Li Shan, 48, who looked
composed, and Wu Jiu Hua, 46, appearing somewhat frightened in court, of
Sinazongwe’s Collum Coal mine Shaft Number Three are both charged with attempted
murder contrary to the Laws of Zambia.
According to particulars of the
offence, Xiao and Wu on October 15, 2010 jointly and while acting together
unlawfully attempted to murder Bowas Siapwaya in Sinazongwe district.
the other counts, the duo is alleged to have unlawfully attempted to murder
Boston Munakazela, Villason Mwanamusiya, Ward Sianaini, Wisbone Simutombo,
Reuben Syakalumbwe, Alfred Senuka, Warren Muntanga, Abin Siameba, Brighton
Siamfuno, Simon Siamine, Madinda Siamubotu and Vincent Chenjela.
duo appeared on October 18 for mention, they were represented by Kalenge Mulenga
from Ambient Associates. But state prosecutor Evans Mbonge requested the court
to check Mulenga’s latest credentials because he was allegedly not on the list
of lawyers admitted to the bar and his law firm was not registered.
duo was yesterday instead represented by lawyers Remmy Mainza and George
Magistrate Sinyangwe said Mulenga was purporting to have been
representing the accused and issues were raised on whether he was a practising
lawyer or not.
In response, Chisanga said there was no such legal
Prosecutor Monge said he had not yet received instructions from the
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on the way forward for the case.
said the DPP was still perusing through the 13 documents as of yesterday, and
immediately sought an adjournment.
But Mainza applied that the duo be
granted bail pending trial.
“We submit your honour that this honourable
court has jurisdiction to grant the accused persons bail especially in the light
of the fact that the offences for which they have been indicted are bailable,”
Mainza said the application was made in line with section
123, sub section 1 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) Chapter 88 of the Laws
He said from the indictment, the accused persons were not
charged with murder, treason or aggravated robbery but with attempted murder,
which was a bailable offence.
Mainza sought the court’s indulgence to
grant the duo bail on terms that the court considered sufficient.
the duo had been in custody since October 17 and if granted bail, they would
abide by the conditions that the court would impose.
He said the defence
was alive to the fact that the offence could only be tried by the High Court but
the lower court had jurisdiction to entertain the application for bail, pending
But Mbonge said bail should not be granted because those injured
were still bed-ridden.
Mbonge said the accused persons were of no
permanent abode and were Chinese nationals who might fail to avail themselves to
court next time.
He argued that it was difficult to determine if the two
were still employed by the mine.
Mbonge said the duo had not been
over-detained because yesterday was only the second time they were appearing in
But Chisanga argued that the reasons the state advanced were not
Chisanga said bail was a constitutional right which was exercised
subject to the conditions that the courts attach.
He said even accused
persons who were foreigners were subject to the provisions of the
“It is not stated anywhere that foreigners must be subjected to
different laws,” he said.
Chisanga said the duo had work permits and
immigration clearance and were still employees of the mine.
granting bail, magistrate Sinyangwe said he was alive to the fact that the 13
lives of victims were under threat but the offence under the CPC was
He said the state had not adduced any evidence to show that the
duo could jump bail.
Magistrate Sinyangwe said the law did not
discriminate on the basis of nationality.
He granted the duo K50 million
bail each with two Zambian sureties in their own cognisance. The duo was also
asked to surrender their passports.
The younger accused, Wu, looked timid
during the session but later when bail was granted, took a deep breath and was
Later, mine supervisor Danny Lau started organising
other officials to help meet bail conditions.
The matter was adjourned to
December 2, for either mention or preliminary inquiry.
Collum Coal Mine
workers were allegedly shot by the managers after miners staged a protest,
demanding improved conditions of service.