A UPND cadre who was testifying against Lumezi MP Munir Zulu yesterday was reminded that he can be charged with perjury after lying in court that he is not a member of the ruling party.

During cross examination, defence lawyer Boniface Chiwala had asked Joel Mukuta whether he was UPND, to which the witness said no.

“Are you not national youth security chairperson for UPND?” the lawyer asked as Mr Mukuta said No.

At this point, Mr Chiwala showed Mr Mukuta his Facebook profile which bore the witness’ face.

“Who is this in the photo?” the lawyer asked as the witness said it was himself but claimed it was edited.

“Is that a UPND shirt written national [UPND] security chairperson?” Mr Chiwala asked as Mr Mukuta said it was.

The lawyer then asked the witness, who is a bus driver, to tell the truth.

“Are you a member of the UPND?” he asked as Mr Mukuta changed his stance and admitted being a UPND member.

“At first you said you were not a member, do you know that you are on oath? You know you can be cited for perjury for lying?” Mr Chiwala asked as Mukuta said Yes.

“The reason why you reported my client is because you are UPND and you were not happy with what he said about what he said to the president?” the lawyer asked as the witness said “I wasn’t happy”.

Asked if he was chairperson for security, the witness admitted.

“The reason you reported him [to a police officer] is because he spoke against the president?” the lawyer asked as Mr Mukuta said Yes.

Asked if Zambians are not allowed to talk about the president, Mr Mukuta said No.

“Did you report the UPND cadres who declared Southern province a no go area?” Mr Chiwala asked as the witness said No.

Earlier, Mr Mukuta narrated that he was touched after watching a trending Facebook video in which Mr Zulu, who is charged with seditious practices, was uttering tribal division words.

He said after watching the clip, he then phoned a police officer and reported the issue for further action because the utterances were allegedly aimed at ‘separating’ tribes from three regions.

“I called the officer to report. I told him that he should look into the matter, to pay attention to it,” Mr Mukuta said.

The 28-year-old said on May 27, 2024, he was driving a bus enroute to town before he parked at Millennium Bus Station to load passengers.

“As I was waiting, I got my phone and started browsing. I went to my Facebook and I found a video trending on a Patriotic Front page. I got interested and played it,”.

Mr Mukuta said in the clip, he saw Zulu and continued watching and listening to the video which played almost 30 minutes.
He said he heard Zulu addressing the President stating that cadres had declared Southern Province a no go area.

“He said even him [Zulu], they’ll declare Eastern Province that his [Mr Hichilema] tribesmen should not go there. I was touched. He said a lot of things but I just got some points when he said Easterners should remain in Eastern and Southerners should remain in Southern”.

Mr Mukutu said the sentiments were separating the bembas, Easterners and Tonga people.

“I felt bad. I thought if they are able to separate us, the way I have a Timbuka wife, how were my children going to be welcomed from my in-laws side?”.

(Credit Mwebantu, Thursday, June 20th, 2024)

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