Friday, January 30, 2004
Chitala implicated Dean in 1997 coup, insists Sata
PATRIOTIC Front (PF) leader Michael Sata yesterday told the Lusaka High Court that Finance deputy minister Mbita Chitala informed the State on the alleged involvement of politicians Dean Mung’omba and Princess Nakatindi Wina in the 1997 coup attempt.
Sata insists Mbita Chitala informed the State on the alleged involvement of politicians Dean Mung’omba and Princess Nakatindi Wina in the 1997 coup attempt
Mr Sata was giving evidence in defence in a matter in which Mr Chitala has sued for defamation over a newspaper story headlined “Chitala implicated Dean in 1997 coup attempt” that appeared in the Post Newspaper on September 7, 2002.
He told Judge Timothy Kabalata that his allegations against Mr Chitala were true and that he issued them in the public interest.
“My revelation about what Mbita is were in public interest because after he gave information to the Government on the coup, he failed to give evidence on people who were detained for 14 months,” he said.
He said during examination-in-chief by his lawyer Edgar Lungu that Mr Chitala had confided in him in 1997 that Mr Mung’omba and Mrs Wina were master-minds of the failed coup.
Mr Sata said he referred Mr Chitala to the then Army Commander Nobby Simbeye and the two had a fruitful discussion which resulted in the arrest of Mr Mung’omba and Mrs Wina a few days later.
He said Mr Chitala also had an audience with then Republican president Frederick Chiluba over the matter.
He said as an appreciation for the information supplied to the MMD and the State, Mr Chitala was offered the position of party deputy national secretary and subsequently elections commissioner at the convention held in Kabwe.
He said although Mr Chitala had left the MMD to form the defunct Zambia Democratic Party (ZDC) and quit politics shortly before the military coup, the information he had supplied to Government was so important that he had to be appreciated with a senior party position.
He said as national secretary of the party he also took the responsibility to convince other members of the executive that Mr Chitala was a good man and had changed from his perceived bad habits.
TIMES OF ZAMBIA