There was drama this morning at Lusaka magistrate court when all the three leading figures facing persecution by president Michael Sata and his clique appeared at the same time, before the same magistrate Joshua Banda for various offences aimed at crippling Zambia’s political opposition.
Former President Rupiah Banda, UPND President Hakainde Hichilema and MMD President Nevers Mumba today appeared in the Lusaka Magistrate Court before Chief Resident Magistrate Joshua Banda.
Rupiah Banda and MMD’s Nevers Mumba are both charged with abuse of authority of office while Mr. Hichilema is charged with malicious publication of false information.
The collision forced Magistrate Banda to re-allocate the case of Mr. Hichilema to Senior Resident Magistrate Aridah Chulu. Mr. Banda told Mr. Hichilema that only one witness has so far testified and it would have no effect to re-allocate the case.
Mr. Hichilema then walked out briefly to take a fresh plea before Aridah Chulu and later went back to Joshua Banda’s court to join Rupiah Banda to render him moral support.
By this time, Nevers Mumba was told to wait a bit as the former president was merely taking a plea.
After finishing with Rupiah Banda’s plea, Magistrate Banda proceeded with the Never Mumba case which is at trial stage as both Mr. Hichilema and Rupiah Banda listened to the Mumba’s witnesses until the case was adjourned.
The state’s star witness in Nevers Mumba’s case, Mr. Nedson Nzowa who is looking for a job from the PF as a Permanent secretary embarrassed his sponsors when he told the court that there was nothing wrong that Dr. Mumba did to award three contracts to Canadian companies to repair the High commissioner’s residence because it was a tender committee that decided.
Mr. Nzowa who is a recalled former Deputy High Commissioner to Canada seemingly inconsistent told the court in cross examination by defence lawyer Makebi Zulu that it was a committee headed by himself that recommended that they repair the residence and in that meeting, Dr. Mumba was not even present.
Mr. Nzowa also told the court that the process to repair the High Commissioner’s residence was initiated way before Dr. Mumba had been appointed as Zambia’s High Commissoner to Canada. He said Mr. David Saviye was the High commissioner to Canada when the process started and by the time Dr. Mumba arrived, the house had reached a deplorable state.
He also told the court that there was no government money that was used to rehabilitate the high commissioner’s residence.
Mr. Nzowa also told the court even the money used to sponsor the cultural event was private money and not government money.
He said embassies and high commissions are financed through control 99. He said public money was tax-payers money but the money used to repair the residence was private money.
He further said the monies paid to the Canadian companies were within the High Commissions threshold. The state prosecutor was seemingly at pains to pacify the damage that Mr.Nzowa had made.
The matter has been adjourned to June 3 to 7, 2013 for continued trial.
The continued persecution of opposition figures and the former president is part of the scheme by the cartel holding president Sata captive and is led by Fred Mmembe, Mutembo Nchito, and Wynter Kabimba