Serious signs of mental disorder were finally exhibited when ailing dictator Michael Sata personally appeared in a public court where the Zambianwatchdog was also in attendance, in a case where he sued the Daily Nation and Dr. Choolwe Beyani for defamation.
When the case was called before High Court Judge Ms. Ireen Lengalenga, Mr. Sata’s lawyer, Bonaventure Mutale applied for a 15 minutes break because his client (Mr. Sata), wanted to personally attend and testify.
The Judge adjourned the case for 15 minutes, and shorty after about 5 minutes, Mr. Sata walked into the fully parked courtroom looking very frail and with shabby hair.
Immediately Mr. Sata walked into courtroom, accompanied by Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba, he started shouting on top of his voice asking where the Judge was.
“You court marshal, where is your ka judge here. Go and call him or her. I cant be waiting here,” Mr. Sata shouted as his Lawyers tried to quietly remind him that he needed to be silent as there were court processes and etiquette that had to be followed.
The court marshal went to the Judge’s chamber and came back, but Sata again shouted and ordered him to go back and come with the Judge, as the people that were in court all felt embarassed with the president’s public behavior.
Eventually Judge Lengalenga entered the courtroom and ordered that Mr. Sata goes into the dock to start his testimony led by his lawyer Bonaventure Mutale.
As per court process, Sata took oath by lifting the Bible and was asked to tell the court his full names to which he asked his own lawyer and the Judge whether they did not know him.
Judge: Please tell us your name, as per court procedure.
Sata: You mean you don’t know me?
Judge: This is for court records and procedure sir.
Sata: My names are Michael Charles Katongo Chilufya Sata
Judge: What is your age?
Sata: I am 72 years (note that Mr. Sata here told a lie on oath, as his correct age is 77 years. Telling a lie on oath amounts to perjury and is a crime according to the laws of Zambia and someone can be jailed. If you check the affidavit he swore during the 2011 elections and last year’s newspapers wishing him happy birth day, they all show that he is now 77 years)
Judge: Where do you reside sir?
Sata: At State House Grounds.
Sata’s Lawyers try to correct him here and says he resides at Kwanzi house inside State House not in the open ground, along independence avenue.
Sata interjects and says “yes there is only one State House in the country unless he is not aware.’
Sata’s lawyer: Please give your testimony now. Are you a friend to Fred Mmembe and Mutembo Nchito?
Sata: No, I am a friend of all citizens including Fred Mmembe as along as they are not criminals like Richard Sakala.
Sata: In fact I am a friend of DBZ (Development Bank of Zambia) because whoever borrows money must pay back.
Sata: When they were borrowing this money, I was not aware. They were not consulting me.
Sata (digresses from the court session): Madam judge, look at that policeman. I don’t like the shabby way he is dressed. His uniform is looking very shabby.
Judge (tries to interject:) Your excellency, please can we concentrate on the matter at hand.
Sata: Nooo! that policeman at the gate is looking shabby. He is embarrassing me. People will say I don’t dress policemen properly.
Judge: Counsel Mutale, please tell your client to concentrate on the court process as there are procedures here. Please can you control your client. This is court.
Mutale: Your excellency, please can we concentrate on the matter at hand.
At that stage the policeman walks away from where he was standing.
Sata (seeing another policeman): Madam Judge, there is another policeman there trying to embarrass me. I don’t like the way he is dressed as well.
Sata’s Lawyer: Your excellency please lets move on.
Sata: Me I don’t know anything about this DBZ thing. Richard Sakala told a lie.
At that stage the matter was adjourned to 24th and 25th June 2014, when Mr. Sata will have to go through a rigorous cross-examination exercises from Richard Sakala’s team of lawyers.
As the matter was being adjourned, Mr. Sata again shouted and openly insulted Sakala’s lawyer “you lipolo”, as Kabimba and the Judge just looked down in shame.
According to the court procedures and laws of Zambia, The Daily Nation and Mr. Sakala’s lawyers will now have to ask Mr. Sata any questions in the open court, including establishing Sata’s mental state.
They will take turns and the cross-examinations process can last for long hours.
So far, Mr. Sata faces perjury charges of having lied on oath in court, at least about his year of birth, for which he can be imprisoned.