UPND vice president for administration Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba (GBM) yesterday verbally abused Local Government and Housing Minister Steven Kampyongo, calling him a ‘‘little idiot’’ and accused him of organising cadres who allegedly attempted to bring down Hakainde Hichilema’s campaign helicopter in Shiwang’andu.
Mr Mwamba was speaking at the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court when he addressed his supporters shortly after he appeared for a ruling in a matter he is charged of proposing violence against President Edgar Lungu when he allegedly stated that he would go for the President’s throat.
But soon afterwards UPND cadres went on rampage terrorising communities and damaging properties including private motor vehicles in Northmead area, along Cairo Road and in Garden township, leaving a trail of destruction
The cadres accused vendors and people they found of being members of and sympathising with PF.
They also spilled vendor’s commodities on the streets while looting others. Police from the nearby police post came but were late as the UPND cadres sped off.
Police in Lusaka confirmed that suspected UPND cadres smashed private vehicles and assaulted two people in violent attacks on unsuspecting members of the public in Mandevu constituency.
Police assistant public relations officer Esther Katongo said they were in receipt of two seperate reports of suspected UPND cadres in party regalia and armed with machettes and stones who attacked private car dealers and street vendors suspected to be PF supporters at Northmead and later drove to Garden compound where they assaulted two people.
Mr Mwamba accused Mr Kampyongo of inciting violence in Shiwang’andu against the UPND for his selfish reasons, forgetting that it was GBM who allegedly told the late President Michael Sata to adopt Kampyongo as a
candidate for the Shiwang’andu constituency. He urged his cadres to remain non-violent and leave violence to the ‘‘PF cadres and their president who do not want to stop violence which is very unfortunate’’ because his party UPND had been breaching peace. However, Mr Mwamba was quick to mention that his cadres should defend themselves whenever they were attacked by PF cadres.
Meanwhile, the Lusaka Magistrate Court yesterday dismissed GBM’s application to refer his case of proposing violence to the Constitutional Court for determination.
The application was dismissed by Principal Resident Magistrate Jennifer Bwalya when the matter came up for ruling.
Dismissing the application, Ms Bwalya indicated that the court had not determined whether the accused used an idiom when he said that he would go for President Lungu’s throat.
She said that she had not found any issues upon which to refer the matter to a higher court for determination. Ms Bwalya added that her court had the jurisdiction to preside over the matter.
Earlier, defence lawyers led by Jacob Mwiimbu submitted in writing that there was nothing wrong that GBM said or did to imply or express an intention to inflict injury on President Lungu.
They contended that the State used Section 91 (1) of Cap 87 through the police to antagonise the accused which should not be the case in a democratic society where the freedoms of expression, assembly and association were paramount. The defence further submitted that the indictment was outside the permissible derogates provided under the Constitution as read together with the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No. 2.
It was also submitted that the court was obligated to refer the matter to the Constitutional Court for the interpretation and determination of its constitutionality.
In their argument, the State asked the court to dismiss the defence’s application to refer the matter to the Constitutional Court or quash the indictment because it was lacking constitutional issues that needed interpretation by the higher court.
State prosecutor Dennis Manda argued that the indictment was not in any way unconstitutional nor was it couched in a manner that was arbitrary and unjusfiable.
He added that the indictment before court was simple and clear and did not need any constitutional interpretation as no constitutional issues had risen.
Mr Manda submitted that Section 91 (1) of the Penal Code should be given its ordinary meaning as it was trite law that the primary rule of interpretation was that the words should be given their ordinary grammatical and natural meaning unless issues of ambiguity arose and the intention of the legislature could not be ascertained from the wording of the legislation.
He further submitted that the accused’s application was riddled with fishing expeditions intended to delay the speedy and just determination of the matter. Mr Manda said it was his humble prayer that the court should dismiss the application as it was frivolous and vexatious. The matter was adjourned to August 19 for commencement of trial.