‘I heard GBM threaten Lungu’

Court gravel big pix2By PERPETUAL SICHIKWENKWE -
TRIAL took off yesterday in the case in which United Party for National Development (UPND) vice-president for administration, Geoffrey Mwamba is charged with proposing violence against President Edgar Lungu with one witness testifying against the opposition leader.
Celestine Mukandila, a law student and business executive told Lusaka magistrate, Nthandose Chabala that he heard Mwamba on Hot FM radio news warning Mr Lungu that he was going to go for his throat.
Mr Mukandila said that on March 2, 2016, he was driving along Addis Ababa heading towards Manda Hill when he heard a news item on Hot FM radio.
He said that according to the news item, Mwamba commonly known as GBM was quoted as having stated “Edgar Lungu, if you are listening now, I am coming for your throat”.
Mr Mukandila said Mwamba went further to urge his supporters not to hesitate to attack either PF members or the President.
He said Mwamba also stated that he would not rest until Mr Lungu was out of State house.
He said that he called PF deputy spokesperson, Frank Bwalya and alerted him about the news item because Mr Bwalya was a senior member of the party.
This, he said was because he found Mwamba’s remarks were a threat to national security as President Lungu’s life was in danger and needed to be condemned before anything serious happened.
Mwamba is charged with one count of proposing violence after he allegedly uttered the words on March 2, 2016 to the effect that he would desired to death or cause injury to President Lungu.
Mr Mukandila said that the matter was reported to Lusaka central police after which he was called to give a statement.
At this stage, the prosecution applied to have the matter adjourned because the courtroom had no facility to listen to the news recording but Mwamba’s defence lawyers Jack Mwiimbu, Martha Mushipe, Keith Mweemba and Gilbert Phiri objected on grounds that the recoding had not been identified or produced as part of evidence.
Mr Mweemba argued that Mr Mukandila was not a competent person to produce the recording as such he should be subjected to cross examination and the prosecution conceded.
During cross examination, Mr Mukandila who gave his professional details as that of a lawyer admitted that he had not been admitted to the bar.
When asked by Mr Mwiimbu if he knew about figurative speech, Mr Mukandila said he did but he was not aware that the statement by Mwamba was figurative.
Mr Mukandila also agreed that Mr Lungu was fond of using a figurative statement that “I will fall on you like a tonne of bricks”.
Mr Mukandila, however, told the court that he was not happy with Mwamba’s statement because it was a threat to national security as it aimed at encouraging people to be violent.
The matter has been adjourned to July 20, 2017 for mention and August 14, 2017 for continued trial.

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