The PF ringleader who promised to reveal the names of senior party officials who sent him and his friends to attack the Matero Bible Gospel Church in Africa (BIGOCA) church yesterday did a ‘Donchi Kubeba’ on Church leaders and members of the Civil Society as he failed to spill the beans.
Heita Bwalya, who is represented by high profile lawyer Anthony Kasolo, u-turned against his promise to disclose the names to the Church leaders and other CSOs as they withdrew the matter from court.
“I was not sent by anyone, I was not sent by Mr. Miles Sampa, ati pantu ndasangwa nabo (just because am found with him). I am PF youth chairman at Buseko Market and I just organized some guys because I thought since the President was out of the country, kuti kwaba ifyongo (there could be some disturbances from that meeting) that is why I did that,” he said outside the court to the surprise of the Church leadership.
The Church leaders withdrew the charges on the understanding that Bwalya who was the ring leader of the church attacks would disclose high level PF linkage to the brutal attacks.
And Operation Young Vote (OYV) executive director Guess Nyirenda said it was unfortunate that young people had been reduced to criminals as they failed to own up to save their master’s faces.
“What he was saying in the negative was actually in the affirmative, that he sometimes works with Mr. Sampa, and that he was not sent by anybody but again that he was a PF youth leader, why did he bring it up when nobody even asked him?” Mr Nyirenda said.
He said Bwalya should have come out to condemn young people’s involvement in violence if he was truly sorry, and that Zambians should keep an eagle’s eye on the perpetrators of the current violence. Mr. Nyirenda said Bwalya’s mention of Mr. Sampa and State House in his cleaning up statements was evidence enough that PF had a hand in the whole matter. Mr. Nyirenda said even the fact Mr. Kasolo (who himself was not in court as he was at State House witnessing the swearing in of his brother Pascal Chanda Kasolo as new Luapula Province Permanent Secretary), representing Bwalya spoke volumes about the ruling party and its involvement in the organisation and assault of innocent people at BIGOCA.
“Mr. Kasolo is not legal aid, so who is paying for Bwalya’s legal fees? You can imagine having a lawyer who was even attached to State House, why is the party so concerned about him?” Mr Nyirenda inquired.
Mr. Bwalya’s lawyer who was not present at the time of the hearing was said to be at State House and his absence angered Ms Walusiku who said it was unacceptable for the defense counsel to be away when he knew that his services were wanted.
Mr. Bwalya in his appreciation for the withdrawal further said he was not sent by Matero Member of Parliament to do what he did, including organizing a group of thugs to accompany him in a canter truck to carry out the attacks.
Magistrate Alice Walusiku yesterday discharged Bwalya after Bishop John Mambo, who was one of the victims and representing other complainants told the court that they had decided to forgive Bwalya after he asked forgiveness at a private meeting earlier at the Church.
“We have forgiven him because he has owned up that he was the ring leader of the violent attacks at BIGOCA, but it is important that he should be remorseful from the heart, to reject all the bad influences that lead him to take such an action,” Bishop Mambo said.