CONTINUED TRIAL IN THE CASE IN WHICH NDC LEADER CHISHIMBA KAMBWILI IS ACCUSED OF DEFAMING PRESIDENT EDGAR LUNGU.
By Fabian Mutale
Court: I call the case of the people vs Chishimba Kambwili. Your honour the matter is coming up for continued trial. The Accused is in court and we are ready to proceed with continued cross examination. The witness is present and we are ready to proceed
Keith Mweemba: Good morning witness
PW: Good morning
Keith Mweemba: Witness, who recorded the so called interview allegedly by Dr. Kambwili?
PW: I recorded
Keith Mweemba: You are the one who captured the video?
Keith Mweemba: Even the gadget that was used you don’t know right?
PW: I don’t know it your honour
Keith Mweemba: Since you don’t know the person or gadget, it goes without saying that the tool was not examine..
PW: You are right sir
Keith Mweemba: It is only the author who can know the original version of the interview
Court: You asked the same question last time counsel
Keith Mweemba: Most obliged
Keith Mweemba: I am referring the witness to the indictment. These words in English. At no point did the accused utter these words in the video?
PW: They were translated
Keith Mweemba: Who translated because they were not uttered?
PW: One of the witnesses
Keith Mweemba: If you don’t know, just say so
PW: Mulungisha and others
Keith Mweemba: So you mean that this was translated by many people?
Keith Mweemba: Is President Lungu mentioned in the inditement?
Keith Mweemba: Statement of fact, is it not true that the price of mealie meal was at that price?
PW: I don’t know
Keith Mweemba: But you are saying you can’t say because you don’t know
PW: The price was fluctuating
Keith Mweemba: So talking about the price of mealie meal amounts to insulting?
PW: Yes your honour
Keith Mweemba: What is defamatory, insulting or wrong about someone talking about the high price if mealie meal
PW: It is defamatory…
Keith Mweemba: I will show the witness something online.
State: We object to showing the witness something online
Keith Mweemba: Your honour, I am at liberty as I don’t want to wait until defense because it would be treated as an after-thought. Which law are you relying on? This is cross examination. This article quotes Hon. Katamba
Court: You can proceed
(Keith Mweemba showing the witness the article)
Keith Mweemba: Tell the court what it is called
Keith Mweemba: What is the date of the article?
Keith Mweemba: We are looking at Reuters… but I am also showing the witness another one. What is the date?
Keith Mweemba: And when was the inditement?
PW: August 2019
Keith Mweemba: Read the article to the court
(Witness is reading)
Keith Mweemba: Just there. You agree with me that at the time of this article, the Minister of Agriculture and even now is Hon. Michael Katambo?
Keith Mweemba: And according to the article, what are prices the minister mentioned?
PW: It moved from K75 to about K150
Keith Mweemba: Do you have any documentation to prove to this court that the price of mealie meal was not K150 at that time?
PW: Your honour I don’t have
Keith Mweemba: Thank you! I will ask the witness to read another paragraph
Keith Mweemba: So the minister himself agreed that there was an increase in the price of mealie meal, correct?
PW: Yes according to the article
Keith Mweemba: Do you have anything to show that the minister didn’t utter these words?
PW: I don’t have
Keith Mweemba: Do you still dispute that the price of mealie meal didn’t go to that level?
PW: I dispute
Keith Mweemba: Even without evidence?
Court: I will record that you dispute
Keith Mweemba: Have you (ever) heard about Satire..?
Keith Mweemba: How about humour?
Keith Mweemba: Since you have no idea, you never even bothered to investigate about these?
PW: I didn’t bother
Keith Mweemba: Since you said you already told court that you don’t understand Bemba, you didn’t even bother you check the actual satirical meaning of the words.
PW: No I didn’t
Keith Mweemba: That is all
Court: Re examination
Keith Mweemba: Your honour that is all and we wish to file written submissions
Keith Mweemba: We will file in within four weeks
Court: That is too long
Keith Mweemba: Your honour, our client and ourselves have a tight diary. We don’t want to do the court a disservice
Court: If time is not available, you can submit orally
Keith Mweemba: Your honour, we want to put everything on record so we want to give written submissions
Court: I want to finish and not be coming for this matter
Keith Mweemba: We are aware that you have a hire office now and we propose two weeks in order not to inconvenience you
State: We would want to look at their submissions. So the two weeks would takes us to 23/03/2021. We will submit by 01/04/2021
Court: How is 05//04/2021?
Keith Mweemba: We will be engaged
Keith Mweemba: That would be fine
Court: The defense shall submit on or before 25/03/2021 while the state will respond on or before 01/04/2021. The matter is adjourned to 06/04/2021