This follows the court’s ruling, which ordered the state to change the charge sheet after the defence raised some preliminary issues regarding the charge.
Banda who appeared before Senior Resident Magistrate Boniface Mwala denied the charge.
However, trial could not continue as State advocate Nchmunya Munkombwe applied for the adjournment because state witnesses were not before court.
Mr Munkombwe said the three witnesses were assigned to provide security to the first lady who is in the province.
Banda’s Lawyer Osbon Ngoma of Lungu Simwanza and Company who has teamed up with Counsel John Phiri of JMP Associates asked the court to warrant contempt of court to the three witnesses as they were fully aware of the matter before court.
Counsel Ngoma said that the authority of the court supersedes the presence of the first lady.
The lawyer also asked the court to dismiss the matter according to section 199 of the Criminal Procedure Court for failure by the state to bring witnesses.
In responding to the issue raised by the defence, state advocate Mr Munkombwe said that the matter only came for the substitution of the charge sheet stating that the court did not direct that the matter would proceed.
On instituting contempt of court on witnesses Mr Munkombwe said that no witness was summoned to appear before the court to proceed with trial and asked the court not to grant the warrant of contempt.
And ruling on the matter Magistrate Mwala said that in the last last session, witnesses were before court and ready to testy stating that the matter was only disturbed with the preliminary issues that were raised in the last sessions.
Magistrate Mwala said that since it was the first time the witnesses have absconded court and that no summons were granted to the witnesses to warrant contempt, the court would only set another date for trial.
The court has set 14th October as the date for the commencement of trial.
Banda is alleged to have committed the crime on August 20, 2020 in Chipata.