Witness Tells Court Bowman Lusambo Never Attacked Obed Kasongo, Implicates PS Joseph Akafumba


Two witnesses have testified in the Luanshya Magistrates Court that former Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo was not anywhere near the scene of the alleged assault on late NDC official Obed Kasongo and other NDC members in 2019.

And the Court heard yesterday how Home Affairs Permanent Secretary Joseph Akafumba enticed some NDC officials to fabricate evidence against Mr. Lusambo in exchange for cash, jobs and contracts.

The two witnesses were testifying before Luanshya Resident Magistrate Penstone Chiluba in the case in which Mr. Lusambo is facing two counts of unlawful wounding and assault on two NDC members.

This is in a matter in which Mr. Lusambo is accused of assaulting one Mary Musonda and wounded Mathews Musukwa both of Mpatamato Township in separate incidents, during the April, 11th, 2019, Roan Parliamentary by-election.

Vincent Mwanza aged 39, a businessman of Kasama and a member of the National Democratic Congress NDC told the Court that Mr. Lusambo was not part of the suspected PF cadres that attacked the NDC campaign team ahead of the by election.

Another witness, Laison Phiri, 44 of Lusaka’s Kabwata Constituency who is also Information and Publicity Secretary for NDC Youth Wing in Lusaka District said he only met Mr. Lusambo at Mpatamatu Police Post when he instructed the police to take all those injured in the said fracas to Roan General Hospital immediately.

Mr Mwansa who was NDC Lusaka District Youth Chairman at the time testified that he had gone to Luanshya to beef up campaigns for the bye election and their campaign base was set up at Mr. Chishimba Kambwili’s residence in Luanshya.

“We started our door to door campaigns and on 10th April around 20 Hrs, I had moved out of camp and I was called by the late Obed Kasongo to take Polling Agents to the Polling Stations around 20 to 21 Hrs,” Mr. Phiri testified.

He added, “We were 10 of us in the car, a Ford Wildtrack belonging to Mr Kasongo and driven by Ganston Mwila and we also carried some food for our campaign teams. On our way back around 04 Hours, we were ambushed by people we later identified as PF cadres who started asking us where we are coming from and started searching the vehicle and they soon started beating myself and the other NDC cadres.”

“And the late Obed came out of the car to talk to them and we saw him being beaten and he was brought in front of the car and they started beating him using timber plunks. They also searched me and started beating me and they took me to where the others were. I managed to run away and hid in some flowers but I was watching what was happening.”

The witness further testified that the beating lasted around 15-20 minutes all the while the NDC cadres were pleading to be spared.

When asked if Mr. Lusambo was on the scene during the attack, Mr Phiri insisted that he did not see anyone who looked like Mr. Lusambo anywhere near the scene of the occurrence.

And when asked, Laison Phiri reiterated that the said PF cadres who attacked them did not use any Machetes or knives in the attack of him and his NDC peers, instead they used short cut planks.

“What surprised them and still surprises me now is that someone like Hon Lusambo who wasn’t at the scene was being linked to the crime and accused of being the perpetrator,” Mr Mwansa stated.

Mr Mwansa testified that one of the Complainants, a Mr Musukwa called him in 2022 offering him a job and cash if he agreed to incriminate Mr. Lusambo

“Mr. Musukwa called me several times putting pressure on me to act as state witness to ensure Mr. Lusambo is hailed but I refused.”

“They told me they will give me money and since I have some education, they will give me a job if I see to it that Bowman (Mr. Lusambo) is jailed but I refused because I don’t think it is fair.”

When pressed further, the witness emphatically said the instructions were coming from Mr. Akafumba.

“I refused and said why now and why didn’t you call all of us to come and discuss the issue when it started? He then called my friend Vincent who told him the same issue who also brought the issue to me and I again refused because it was going to be unfair,

He said ,”Pressure continued and I had to change my phone and even changed the place of residence.

And Mr Phiri recollected that the first encounter with Mr. Lusambo was at Mpatamatu Police Post when he came to check on his cadres.

“Mr. Lusambo immediately instructed that all those injured including NDC cadres be taken to the Hospital.”

The matter has since been adjourned after it emerged that a small black bag, which is a key material evidence was not before Court.

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