Sunday, June 16, 2024

Mumbi Phiri, Shelby Chilekwa trial kicks off in a murder case of Lawrence Banda


By Nelson Zulu

Former PF Deputy Secretary General Mumbi Phiri on Tuesday appeared in the Mongu High Court for the offence of murder of a UPND cadre Lawrence Banda, who died in 2019 in Kaoma during a Council Chairperson by-election.

Together with Phiri, is former president Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s barber Shebby Chilekwa who is jointly charged together with her for the shooting down of Lawrence.

Three witnesses so far among them UPND cadre, Brian Mulenga have testified in the matter.

Opening the prosecution in the matter was a Lusaka businessman, Frank Mwamba 48, of Chelstone and owner of Master Source company who testified that last year, Police officers called him in connection with one of the vehicles registered in his name that it was involved in some crime.

Here is the verbatim

Witness Frank Mwamba: 48, I live in a Chelstone, Lusaka, I am a businessman
Prosecutor: Kindly tell the court about what you are here for :
Mwamba: I recall in 2010, I decided to form a company which I called Master Source, so I registered a company with PACRA and my line of operation was to offer external accounting services and supply. In the course of doing my business I heard about Star Shell Zambia limited, that company was located along Kafue Road in Lusaka and were selling both used and none used vehicles and I started working with them.
One day I received a phone call from Ephraim Simwanza that he was administrative assistant at Star Shell, he told me that Assan Muhammad on that day wanted to speak to me.
Prosecutor: When did you receive the call?
Mwamba: that was about 2015, I met Muhammad and we discussed business, he later on brought a matter of motor vehicles which were not registered and asked me if I would be interested to register one of his motor vehicles in my company name. He said that he would want to sell those vehicles in future, I got interested in the business and I requested him to register his Toyota Hilux in my company name.
I gave him the PACRA papers and after few months towards 2016, I went to him to find out if those vehicles were registered and where they were. He told me that the vehicles were taken by the PF, then he told me that after the 2016 elections he would take me to see someone if I could buy off the vehicles.
After the elections in 2016, when I made a follow up, he did not take me to the person he talked about and informed me that he would tell him later.
Few months later I received a phone call from Lusaka Centra Police asking about a Toyota Hilux in white in colour registration number BAD 5864, he told me that the people who had the vehicles around Kabangwe Ten Miles got drunk and started fighting ….
Defence lawyer, Jonas Zimba interrupts..
Zimba: My Lord, we have issues, in so far the relevance, this particular matter (issues raised by witness) not covering matters that are before court.
Prosecutor: We are raising the foundation
Judge Charles Zulu: Will allow the witness to proceed
Prosecutor: Proceed, what did you do?
Witness: I rushed to Star Shell to inquire who was with the vehicle, and Mr. Assan Muhammed gave me the number of Amos Chanda, an employee at State House. I called the officer and gave him the number for Amos and was told they will handle the issue administratively. I received another call from Police Headquarters and the same officer asked about the same vehicle.
This time he wanted to know who was driving the vehicle in Bauleni, he said people who had a vehicle started fighting after they got drunk and later started shooting and sped off.
Prosecution: What did you do?
Mwamba: When I heard that the vehicles where with PF, I went to see the PF secretariat, I met the SG Davis Mwila, I met him in the presence of madam Mumbi Phiri with Sunday Chanda. Then Mr. Davis Mwila advised me to put my concern in writing which I did.
Mr. Mwila then called a Mr. Soko on phone and asked him if he could facilitate change of ownership of vehicles from my name to someone, I was informed that it would be done. Since them I never received any notification and I assumed the change was done. Not until 2021, in November, I received a call from police Headquarters asking me about the same vehicle. It was at that point I realised they never changed ownership. The police interrogated me about how the vehicles were registered in my name, they visited a place where the vehicle came from. At no point did I ever see the vehicles or white books. I was later told by police that the vehicle was found in a crime.
Prosecutor: You said you were advised to put it in writing? (Prosecutor shows Mwamba the letter)
Mwamba: Yes, this is a letter I wrote, this is my signature and phone number.
Defence lawyer
Charles Changano: The law on production of evidence is based on two things, custody and authenticity, the witness has not told this court whether the letter was in his custody, he can write it…we have just seen it from the desk of the state now, he has not laid the foundation about who wrote it and who kept it, we don’t know whether the letter was in the custody of the police or him, it is in that line of custody my lord that we object to this evidence. Yes my lord I agree with the principle of Kajara and Nobbu….
Prosecution: The law of evidence in the production of evidence require that it should be produced by the author or (someone) in custody and the witness is the one who authored the letter. He is capable to producing the document, we pray that the document be presented by this court as it was done by the witness.
Changano: in this matter we are talking about the author did he had custody of the letter, the state has not state that?
Court rules
The discretion of admitting evidence is on the Court, there is substantial satisfaction, the witness is the one who authored. I allow it. P1.

Cross Examination
Changano: Frank Mwamba, have you have come to this court merely to talk about the vehicle registered in your name?
Mwamba: yes my Lord
Changano: and you told this court that the vehicle was involved in a crime, I heard you say that
Mwamba; a Police officers told me that.
Changano: did police tell you the crime
Mwamba: no
Changano: will agree with me that in this matter before this court you know nothing
Mwamba: yes, I know my Lord.
Changano: Do you know that the matter before court is murder?
Mwamba: I know nothing about the murder in Kaoma.
Second Defence lawyer cross examining Mwamba.
Jonas Zimba: Witness you have talked about registering the company.
Mwamba : Yes my Lord
Zimba: You have not submitted before this court documents in support of your claims that you are the one that registered the company and you are among the directors’ shareholders
Mwamba: No my Lord
Zimba: In the absence of those documents, it will be difficult for this Court to believe that you are shareholder:
Mwamba: Maybe
Zimba: The narration you have given here today, it doesn’t form part of the statement you gave to the police?
Mwamba: I don’t think so.
Zimba: have you been to the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to answer on vehicles registered …
Zimba: You told the police that you don’t know anything about the vehicles
Mwamba: No
Zimba: You told this court that you allowed him to register your vehicles in your company name
Mwamba: Yes my Lord.
Zimba: let’s move on
In your narration in this court, you have talked about phone calls to police
Mwamba: Yes my Lord
Zimba: You have not mentioned any name of police who called you
Mwamba: No, just kept number and not name:
Zimba: Witness do you know a company called bellam trading
Mwamba : Yes
Zimba: Witness do you remember you are the one who started taking police showing them about vehicles, who was running Bellam?
Mwamba : No
Zimba: Did you do any works of Bellam
Mwamba : Yes
Zimba: Was he your friend?
Mwamba: Yes
Zimba: You betrayed your friend
Mwamba: No
Zimba: Are you saying that because betraying a friend is a bad this
Mwamba: Yes
Zimba: And you don’t want to be associated with it
Mwamba: No
Makebi Zulu ; You mentioned that you spoke to police twice
Mwamba : Yes
Makebi: You have not brought those numbers before Court
Mwamba: No
Makebi: You cannot confirm what they told you whether it is true or not, what you were told about the kabangwe?
Mwamba: Yes
Makebi: You can’t confirm the phone number
Mwamba: No
Makebi: Are you able to confirm that the Bauleni incident was true
Mwamba: I was not there.
Makebi: You mentioned that you agreed that 2 vehicles registered in your company name, what is the registration of the second vehicle?
Mwamba: I don’t know. I was just told the registration number but I didn’t see it.
Makebi: Did you bother to go to RTSA
Mwamba: Yes I did
Makebi: You have not brought the print out
Mwamba: No
Makebi: Have you brought any evidence about the fines
Makebi: It is also true you don’t know who had the vehicles (in question)
Mwamba: No
Makebi: You said you were given the number for Amos Chanda
Mwamba: Yes
Makebi: Have you come with that number?
Mwamba: No, I had it on the phone.
Makebi: Where is the original of the ID 2, (Certificate of Incorporation of the Company)
Mwamba: I left it at the office
Makebi: Is it available?
Mwamba: Yes
Makebi: In conclusion, is that the substance of the matter is what was told to you…
Mwamba: Not told but also what I saw.
Makebi: What did you see?
Mwamba: I saw the photo copy of the vehicle.
Makebi: The only thing you saw was the registration of the vehicle. You have not brought it
Mwamba: No.

Next witness Brian Mulenga
On oath…
Brian Mulenga, 44 years old. I am a businessman. I live in Garden Compound in Lusaka.
Prosecution: Tell court what happened
Brian: I was called by the UPND party to tell us that there was a by-election in Kaoma. We were nine in a group my lord. We came from Lusaka, Kalufyanya, Lawrence Banda,Chiwenga, myself, Chitangala, those are the ones I can remember, others where coming from other constituencies.
Then we were given a branded GX and Chitangala was the driver of that vehicle. It was branded in HH and party colours.
Prosecution: What happened?
Brain: We started coming to Kaoma, we arrived at Kaoma at General Sitwalas (place).
Prosecution: What did you go to do in Kaoma?
Brain: We went to Kaoma for campaigns my lord. We were assigned, me and my friends arrived at Sitwalas place and we were given an assignment to announce about the candidate in different wards. So, we were informed that we shall go to Mangango to announce in the same regard. We moved out and were informed to go somewhere in a certain compound. We went in the compound around 08 hours. I was with Lawrence Banda, Chiwenga, Fanwell, Kalufyanya and those are the names I can remember. The person who was driving was Chitangala my lord. We arrived at the campaign centre and we found food prepared already for us. After finishing eating, we just saw a white vehicle, and we heard two-gun shoots in the air. And we asked what was happening, we saw the vehicle and started questioning ourselves and we took the number plate of the vehicle in question, which was BAD 5864. A Toyota hilux white in colour.
Prosecution: What time was it?
Brian: It was between 08 to 09 hours. That vehicle went away, after less than 10 minutes the same vehicle came back, and we stopped them, and we saw a pistol at the dashboard. It’s me who saw the gun because I was in the front.
(Defence lawyers raised concern on the manner he is using the word we)
Brain: Okay, I saw the pistol on the dashboard. Just after some time police officers came through, and we went to police, we reported to them after the earlier shooting, we asked the police to apprehend the same person. After a short-time a vehicle returned and police followed. We returned to the UPND Secretariate and proceeded to announce in Mangango about our candidate.
When we reached the UPND secretariat, that was around 10 to 11 my lord, as we were talking to people, I received a phone call from the care taker from the camp. I formed my group that the camp has been attacked, looting happened and mealie meal taken away with other things.
I informed Chitangala to remain and went with Chris whom I told to drive the car in my company. I was with Lawrence Banda, Chiwenga, and others from Mongu and Kaoma.
Prosecution: What did you do after that?
Brain: We went back to our camp my lord, and we found that everything at the camp was destroyed, thrown away. I asked someone where they had gone and he told me that they had driven to another direction and I told my friends to follow them. We followed them and they were not far, we found the vehicle and we found the same vehicle and the same driver, the vehicle had other people behind, we started arguing. I was 20 m away from where they were. The argument was between UPND and PF.
Brian: identifies Mumbi Phiri and Shebby Chilekwa, the gun was short, it was a pistol my lord and was on a dashboard my lord.
Cross Examination
Changano: How are you Brian Mulenga.
Brian: fine
Changano: You told this court that you were called by UPND to come to Kaoma
Brain: Yes
Changano: Who exactly called you?
Brain: Anderson Banda Provincial Youth Chairman for Lusaka.
Changano: You said you came from Garden and other places and together you were nine?
Brian: Yes
Changano: How many had guns?
Brian: Nobody
Changano: Did you search them?
Brain: I did not search them
Changano: You said that you went for a briefing before coming and that you were told that when you find Mumbi Phiri …
Brian: Yes
Changnao: If you find Mumbi Phiri shoot?
Brain: We did not
Changano: Lawrence Banda where was he staying?
Brian: Kanyama
Changano: Lawrence was Gaddafi in UPND,
Brian: I don’t know about that Gaddafi
Changano: You have not told the Court the truth, you went to Mangano…
Brian: yes
Changano: The incidence happened on, what day was Lawrence Banda shot at?
Brian: I can’t remember, Sunday
Changano: On this particular day, are you not aware that on this day the PF vehicles were distributing chitenge materials?
Brain: I don’t know
Changano: UPND cadre
Brain: I am UPND youth coordinator
Changano: As UPND youth, you can protect the party in anyway
Brian: I cannot protect in bad way.
Changano: On this day you mentioned, the incident happened at what time?
Brian: 10 to 11
Changano: Are you aware that Mumbi Phiri was at a church in Kaoma?
Brian: I don’t know, all I know she was there when the incident of shooting happened.
Changano: I am specific with time? Are you aware that 09 to 11 Apostolic Church are in service where she was?
Brian: I don’t know about the church; I don’t know that she was in church.
Changano. Are you aware that on that day your vehicle was on the same road?
Brian: I am not aware
(Changano presents documents showing picture)
Changano: Chinyama is showing the position, look at that picture? Are you seeing that gravel Road.
Brian: Yes
Changano: Do you see the tree there
Brian : Yes
Changano: where is your vehicle?
Brian: No vehicles, can only see a person pointing on something.
Changano: Do you know Ndopu Ndopu?
Brian: I don’t know him?
Changano: Can you confirm that this is the gravel road where the shooting took place?
Brian: No my lord.
Changano: How many people where in front [of the vehicle]?
Brian: Madam Mumbi Phiri and driver, behind where people I don’t know.
Changano: Are you aware that it was not Mumbi Phiri but Browner
Brian: It was Mumbi Phiri in front.
Changano: You told your friend to follow the PF vehicle
Brian: We followed them, they looted our camp
Changano: You blocked the PF vehicle.
Brian: No, we did not.
Changano: You stopped their vehicle.
Brian: We stopped the vehicle so that we asked them.
Changano: Lawrence Banda was on the bonnet as you were driving?
Brian: No was not.
Changano: You and Lawrence Banda followed the PF
Brian: Yes we did
Changano: You and Lawrence Banda went to the PF vehicle; you went to the driver’s seat and Lawrence Banda to the passengers’ seat were Browner.
Brian: No my lord
Changano: Are you not aware that this vehicle we are talking about was smashed and my client was hit with a screw driver or knife?
Brian: No
Changano: Is it not true that the PF ran away because of you?
Brian: Maybe they ran away because of the gun, I don’t know because I ran away
Changano: So you don’t know that the PF vehicle was left behind?
Brian: Upon seeing my friend go down I ran away too.
Changnao: Is it possible for two people to shoot?
Brian : I did not say that, only one person had…
Changana: Do you know Alex Chola a former soldier Zambia Army officer?
Brian: I was not in the place where he was, I was not with him, I was not working with him.
Changano: Do you know Alex Chola?
Brian: Yes I know him.
Changano: Are you aware that Alex (Chola) was apprehended and taken to police and cartridges were found?
Brian: I can’t say what I did not see.
Changano: Did you see the cartridges?
Brian: No
Changano: Did you see the Zambia Police blue, and another ZP vehicle, which was behind the PF vehicle?
Brian: I didn’t see them.
Changano: The other vehicle where Chipashya was did you see it?
Brian: No
Changano: Are you aware that madam Katongo (a police officer) was in a white car?
Brian: I did not see them.
Changano: Are you are aware that there was gunshot to dispense you?
Brian: No there were no police officer.
Changano: I put it to you that you didn’t see who fired the gun?
Brian: I have already pointed at the person who had the gun.
Changano: Where is the pistol? (Used in the shooting)
Brian: Ask the one who had the pistol.
Changano: Did the police show you that this is the pistol the shooter had?
Brian: No, nobody sat with the police.
Changano: Did the police show you that the pistol you were talking about here it is?
Brian: I can’t bring the pistol which I don’t have it…
Jonas Zimba cross examines Brian Mulenga
Zimba: You had gone to Kaoma to campaign is it?
Brian: Yes
Zimba: Where was this election?
Brian: Kaoma, Mangango.
Zimba: Is it Kaoma or Mangango?
Brian: Mangango-Kaoma.
Zimba: You want the Court to write Mangango-Kaoma as part of your submission?
Brian: Counsel Chaiperson Mangango-Kaoma.
Zimba: You told this court that you are a businessman. What business do you do?
Brian: I trade in beans and have stands for salaula (second hand clothes).
Zimba: In fact, you have complained that the President is not taking care of you.
Brian: Yes that is personal.
To be continued


    • @Deja Vu. We know the drill by now. Since the Konga case involves the murder of a member of a now opposition political party, expect the case to be pursued only when there will be a change of government.

      What a shame.

  1. Justice for mumbi phiri and others falsely accused of the killing of a violent upnd cadre. We are all with you here at the UK pf branch. We will continue sending financial support to ensure you have the best representation.

    By the way Lusaka times do not think We are not aware that you attempted to block our account. Remember that HH won’t remain president forever. It is always wise to be independent. Just some free advice

  2. I love this court reporting, please keep up with it! At the end of this, I think we can make own informed opinions about the judgment, however it will be.

    • No Saint. That is their job. That’s why it’s a boring job! Like someone has pointed out here, What you often read in the papers is made interesting by reporters!

  3. To LT and other lazy Zedian journalists: passing on to the reader verbatim court records isn’t journalism. The court clerk can give us those records. Not everything that’s spoken in court is news so it’s up to you reporters to craft what happened into a narrative. That’s your job. That’s what you are trained for but you’re running away from the job and leaving it to the court clerk. Perhaps the courts should charge you for plagiarism

  4. Mumbi phiri was the gang leader of a murderous PF cader group……….

    Laurence band was gunned down in cold blood………….

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