Nalikwanda UPND member of parliament Geoffrey Lungwanga yesterday narrated to the Lusaka High Court how he was beaten and physically manhandled by MMD youths in 2016, in full view of the party president Nevers Mumba.
Lungwanga testified that the ordeal happened at Mika Convention Centre where the MMD National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting was being held.
However, the plaintiff’s lawyer Jeah Madaika queried the defence witness’ motive in the matter as he was a UPND member of parliament.
Meanwhile, Mumba’s former security officer testified that while at Mumba’s house in 2016, he was instructed to deny Lungwanga, the party national secretary Raphael Nakachinda and three others, entrance to the NEC meeting.
This is the matter in which Winnie Zaloumis in her capacity as MMD acting National Secretary for the Nevers Mumba led-MMD has sued Felix Mutati, Mwansa Mbulakulima, Raphael Nakacinda and George Kangwa in the Lusaka High Court, challenging the legality of the convention that was held in Kabwe that elected Mutati and others into office.
When the matter came up for continued defence before High Court judge Sharon Newa, Tuesday, Prof Lungwangwa testified that while at the venue of the MMD NEC meeting on January 30, 2016, he was physically manhandled, beaten and forcefully pushed into his vehicle.
The witness added that whilst being manhandled, his iPhone was also stolen adding that the entire ordeal happened in full view of Mumba.
Prof Lungwangwa said despite Mumba witnessing the entire incident, he did nothing to restrain the youths from harassing him.
He said he was physically manhandled for calling on the party leadership to hold a convention.
“I later went to report the matter at Avondale police station. I was so disappointed with what happened especially because in all my years in the MMD, this was the first incident. The saddest part is that all this happened simply because we had different views on when the convention was to be held. The discussion in the party was that we go for a convention in 2016,” Prof Lungwangwa said.
Asked in cross examination by Madaika whether it was true that before he joined UPND, he was a UPND agent gathering information and taking it to the other camp, and that he was not invited to the NEC meeting, the witness said it was not true.
“I was invited to this NEC meeting in 2016 and I was physically manhandled. I’m not cooking anything here. This is the truth,” he said.
Further asked what interest he had in the MMD matter when he was member of parliament for UPND, Prof Lungwangwa said he was testifying because the ordeal happened to him.
The witness added that he had the right to testify.
Asked what his motives were and why he was testifying in the matter, the witness said he had no comment.
Meanwhile, Scorpion Kadobi, who was Mumba’s security officer, told the court that he was given instructions to block five party members from attending the NEC meeting as they wanted the convention to be held in 2016 and not 2017.
He said those who were supposed to be blocked were Prof Lungwangwa, Nakachinda, Mwansa Mbulakulima, Howard Kunda and another.
“On January 29, I was at the president’s (Mumba) house with other security persons. We were were assigned duties that we would perform at Mika convention centre. While there, we were given five names; Nakachinda, Lungwangwa, Howard Kunda, honourable Kembe and honourable Mbulakulima. We were told to say ‘these five people are not allowed to attend the NEC meeting as they were the ones who wanted to cause confusion so that the convention is in 2016 when I want it to be held in 2017’,” Kadobi said.
He told the court that after receiving these instructions, he organised youths from Chirundu and MMD to come and execute the assignment.
Kadobi said on the material day, he changed his mind and allowed Nakachinda, Kunda, Kembe and Mbulakulima to attend the meeting without being harassed.
He, however, added that his boss, a Mr Kalinda, was upset with his move and questioned why he had allowed the others to enter the premises.
Kadobi said the same Kalinda then instructed youths from Chirundu and Kanyama to manhandle ‘uninvited guests’, adding that when Prof Lungwangwa went to the venue, the youths lifted him up, manhandled him and even stole his phones.
After the witnesses concluded with their testimonies, defence lawyer Jonas Zimba indicated to the court that the defence had roughly 500 witnesses left to testify.
Judge Newa adjourned the matter to September 9 up to 13, and guided that there would be no further adjournments after that period, hence the defence counsel needed to plan and finish with all the witnesses in that time.