Chilanga member of parliament Keith Mukata has asked the Lusaka High Court to summon the UPND media team so that they can explain why they should not be cited for contempt for allegedly labeling him a murderer.
Mukata’s lawyer Milner Katolo yesterday told Susan Wanjelani that the UPND media team had been writing irresponsible and misrepresented stories in relation to the court proceedings.
The defense lawyer stated that after Mukata gave his testimony on November 30, there had been screaming headlines on online media namely the Zambian Observer, Zambia Direct News, and Zambezi Post which read, “I killed my company guard together with Kampyongo, says Mukata”.
Katolo claimed that the published article in Zambian observer was signed by the UPND.
He said Mukata never admitted killing his security guard Namakabwa Kwenda.
“Your honor my evidence is clear before you at no time did my client testify by way of admission that he killed his guard with honourable [Stephen] Kampyongo,” said Katolo.
He complained that the report intended to portray his clients as murderers to the masses with the Minister of Home Affairs being their accomplice.
Katolo said the report was prejudicial to his client, and that according to section 116 (1), (d) of the penal code chapter 18 of the laws of Zambia, it is contemptuous for an individual to make use of a speech or writing that misrepresents proceedings or capable of prejudicing or lowering the authority of the person before whom the proceedings are held.
The defense team made an application that a warrant be issued to the UPND media team so that they could explain why they shouldn’t be cited for contempt for misrepresenting proceedings and undermining the authority of the court.
Katolo claimed that it is not the first time that negative articles have been published against Mukata.
“My lady this is not the first time that negative reporting has been made which my client wishes to bring to an end,” said Katolo.
Justice Wanjelani reserved ruling for today.
Meanwhile, Musakanov Tagimorat, a pathologist who was subpoenaed, testified that Mukata’s guard was either shot at the back or whilst he was seated.
The pathologist said the deceased had a flame burn on his wound, which showed that the gunshot was fired at a range of 1.5 to 2 cm as there was no gun residue on the wound.
The 77-year-old said gun residue could only be noticed on the wound if at all a gunshot is fired at a distance of 5cm or more.
When asked about the type of instruments that he used to measure the deceased’s wound by the defense lawyer, Tagimorat used technical language which was hard to understand, sending the courtroom into laughter.
Katolo further asked Tagimorat to refer to the photographic album prepared by the ballistics, to which he refused saying he was not interested in it as it was not part of his job but later referred to it reluctantly after being pressured to help the defense with measurements.
The pathologist said he cannot compare his measurements to those of the ballistics because they were taken at a different time.
He said he conducted a postmortem on Kwenda three days after his death and that a corpse begins to decompose after death by swelling.
When asked if the 9.9 mm of distance recorded by the ballistics was equivalent to his measurements, the doctor refused to comment because he did not witness the ballistics measuring.
“Katolo I am not interested. This was not done by me maybe the magistrate or the president authorised him,” said Tagimorat.
When asked by state prosecutor Bar Matandala if he noticed changes on Kwenda’s body, the pathologist said he could not tell whether the deceased’s body was tempered with as a corpse cannot change in the notary because it is refrigerated.
The 77-year-old further narrated that the projectile penetrated through the right side of the deceased’s neck and exited through the right shoulder though it was not found in his body.
Earlier, a legal practitioner of Ellis and Co, a Bwalya, told the court that wrote down the conversation between Mukata’s counsel Bonaventure Mutale and the chief investigations officer of Emmasdale police station Mubita Moya.
Bwalya claimed that when Moya was asked about the stage at which the investigations had reached by Mutale, Moya responded that Mukata’s relative a, Mr Mwangala was told by the maid who worked at the accused law firm that she overheard ballistics and other officers debating on whether to include the empty cartilages that were discovered at the gate outside the crime scene.
Bwalya asked the court to believe him that Moya said empty cartilages were discovered outside crime scene.
“I am simply stating what was said in the meeting,” said Bwalya.
But when asked by Matandala if he had proof to show that the notes were not written yesterday and if Moya signed to confirm the content in the notes, Bwalya said he did not have evidence.
In this matter, Mukata and his lover Charmaine musonda are accused of shooting dead Namakabwa Kwenda.
The matter comes up today for continued defense.