In a courtroom drama unfolding at the Kawambwa Magistrate Court, Member of Parliament for Kawambwa, Nickson Chilangwa, has formally requested the dismissal of charges leveled against him, pointing to what he claims are glaring inconsistencies in the testimonies provided by state witnesses.
Mr. Chilangwa, represented by his defense counsel Jonas Zimba, argued that the statements from state witnesses, including a police officer, did not align, highlighting a significant absence of recorded entries in the Occurrence Book at Kawambwa Police Station between August 12 and August 18, 2021.
During his defense, Mr. Chilangwa urged the court to scrutinize the testimonies, expressing skepticism over the reliability of medical reports presented before it. He alleged that these reports were fraudulently prepared as an “afterthought” on August 15, three days after the incident in question occurred on August 12, 2021.
The lawmaker criticized the police for what he deemed an inadequate and unprofessional investigation, asserting that numerous gaps in the state’s testimonies had vindicated him. He urged the court to place more weight on the evidence provided by a former Police Officer in Charge who testified that he did not fire gunshots in the air and that Mr. Chilangwa and his co-accused were not present when the Mahindra vehicle was burnt.
Mr. Chilangwa suggested that his inclusion in the case was politically motivated, citing a state witness, John Lukwesa, who claimed in a recorded video that he was instructed by United Party for National Development (UPND) officials to implicate Mr. Chilangwa and others.
In a surprising revelation, Mr. Chilangwa asserted that the Mahindra motor vehicle, which he is accused of burning, has two different engine numbers. He argued that the engine numbers appearing in the police officer’s photo album and the white book were inconsistent, implying the possibility of two vehicles being involved.
Furthermore, Mr. Chilangwa contended that, according to information in the white book, the Mahindra motor vehicle belonged to an individual named Obed Mulomba, contrary to the indictment and testimonies by state witnesses claiming it was property of the UPND.
Adding to his defense, Mr. Chilangwa informed the court that the police had issued an alert notice to impound the vehicle, alleging its occupants were instigating violence in Kawambwa.
The court adjourned the proceedings in the late afternoon, with the continuation of Mr. Chilangwa’s defense scheduled for today. The case involves Pambashe Member of Parliament Ronald Chitotela and Mr. Chilangwa, along with five others, facing charges of arson, malicious damage to property, threatening violence, and assault.