President Edgar Lungu’s primary school colleague has testified how he reported New Labour Party president Fresher Siwale to the police for lying that the Head of State stole his identity.
Testifying before magistrate Alice Walusiku was Mr. Dama Banda, 62, a former Head Teacher of Kitwe, who told court that he grew up with President Lungu and walked with him to school as they were neighbours and therefore, Mr. Siwale’s claims are baseless.
On April 22, 2018, with intent to bring the President’s name into ridicule, Mr. Siwale said the Head of State is not Edgar Chagwa Lungu but Jonathan Mutawale and further alleged that the President should be arrested for having three National Registration Cards, calling him an identity thief.
The accused said this during Muvi TV’s The Assignment programme which Mr. Banda also watched.
After this, Mr. Banda reported Mr. Siwale to the police because his claims were not as he personally was the President’s neighbour from 1962 to 1976.
“On April 20, 2018, I came to Lusaka to visit my young sister in Kaunda Square stage one and on Sunday, 22 April, 2018, I was watching a programme which featured Siwale who said the man in State House is not the actual Edgar Lungu and that he is Jonathan Mutawale. That was not true, it occurred to me that Siwale did not in fact know Edgar Lungu. President Lungu is the person I grew up with as a neighbour and I cannot forget him up to this day,” Mr. Banda said.
He said he and President Lungu used to go together to a place called ‘Kwanakayombo’ in Kitwe together to cultivate maize and that they used to play football together.
“During childhood, we used to call the President as Chagwa, we went to Mukuba secondary together in 1973 when I was in form one, in secondary school, he was called Edgar Lungu. He was ahead of me by one year,” Mr. Banda narrated.
Banda said he lived with his family in a rented house owned by Kitwe City Council and that the house in which President Lungu and his family lived was rented by Rhodesian Railways where his father worked.
He insisted that Edgar Lungu, who is in State House, is not an identity fraud.
“After watching the programme, I felt extremely bad that an elderly person can tell lies about a person he does not know, as a childhood friend to President Lungu, I thought I should report the matter to the police,” Mr. Banda said.
He told the court that President Lungu has even adopted a classroom block at Mukuba Secondary School that is named after him and that he also donated a big bus to the institution.
The matter has been adjourned to April 23, 2020 for cross examination.