A ZAMBIA News and Information Services (ZANIS) official had a tough time yesterday to explain to the High Court how United Party for National Development (UPND) cadres attacked Patriotic Front (PF) supporters in Sinazongwe Constituency as his video did not show the actual attacks by UPND.
This is in a case in which losing PF Sinazongwe Member of Parliament (MP) Richwell Siamunene has asked the High Court to declare the election of UPND MP Gift Sialubalo as null and void.
Siamunene, 44, has told the High Court that the election of Sialubalo during the August 11, 2016 General Elections could not be deemed to be free and fair because of alleged widespread violence, intimidation, bribery and other electoral malpractices instigated by UPND supporters.
He is being represented by Bonaventure Mutale of Ellis and Company as well as Friday Besa of Besa Legal Practitioners while Mr Sialubalo is being represented by Cheelo Mwiinga of MAK Partners.
During cross examination before High Court Judge Matthews Zulu in Livingstone yesterday, ZANIS Choma editor Mike Munkombwe ,31, said his camera only managed to capture the victims of the attacks who were in PF regalia.
“It was difficult for me to capture UPND cadres when they were attacking PF supporters because we were not allowed to go beyond certain points.
“However, I managed to capture the victims of the attacks displayed in the video which was also aired on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) TV1 and TV2,” Mr Munkombwe said.
This was after Mr Mwiinga asked Mr Munkombwe to state if he saw any violence in his first video captured on the Nominations Day on May 31, 2016.
In response, Mr Munkombwe said he saw violence in the videos for Nomination Day and on the Voting Day (August 11, 2016)
“Since you are saying you have seen the violence in your video, I want you to show the Court who was attacking who in the video. Do you see anyone attacking another person in the video?” Mr Cheelo asked Mr Munkombwe who responded that it was difficult to capture the attackers (UPND).
Three videos, which were filmed in Sinazongwe Constituency by Mr Munkombwe, were yesterday watched in Court and they were admitted as evidence.
In the first video, some PF supporters were seen in blood stains on the Nomination Day while Mr Siamunene as well as Southern Province Commissioner of Police Godwin Phiri condemned the attackers.
The second video, which was also aired on ZNBC TV 1 and TV2, shows UPND cadres flashing their party symbols of stretched palms on the Voting Day in the area.
In the third video, which was filmed after Mr Sialubalo was declared MP for Sinazongwe Constituency and also aired on same stations, a number of people complained that the elections were bad compared to previous years.
After cross examination, Mr Justice Zulu adjourned the matter to today (October 13, 2016) at 09:00 hours for the opening of defense after all petitioner’s witnesses made their submissions to the Court.
Mr Cheelo said there would be six witnesses including Mr Sialubalo during defense in the matter.