MMD leader Nevers Mumba says ZNBC employees welcomed him when he visited the institution on September 8, 2016.

Opening defense in a case in which he is charged with criminal trespass before principal magistrate David Simusamba yesterday, Mumba said he was impressed by how the ZNBC staff embraced him despite being a member of the opposition.

“I was quick to mention how touched I was in the manner they handled me despite me being opposition,” Mumba said, adding that he did not argue with anyone whilst he was there.

Mumba also said that ZNBC was a public place and he did not need permission to go there.

“ZNBC is like UTH, it’s a public place. I do not need permission and I have never needed one and no other Zambian needs permission. ZNBC belongs to Zambians. I support that institution through television levy,” he said.

Mumba testified that on the material day, police officers that were manning the gate did not interrogate him as to why he was going to the ZNBC newsroom.

Mumba explained that he had received numerous phone calls from his members who expressed concern over a news item regarding the presidential election petition that was aired on the national broadcaster, forcing him to go and seek clarity on said news item.

He further testified that ZNBC director general Richard Mwanza had called him the following morning to warn him that there were people who were trying to concoct a story about his visit to the national broadcaster.

And on the allegation of trying to stop President Edgar Lungu’s inauguration, Mumba said he never mentioned the President’s name during his visit.

“How can I single handedly without an army stop the inauguration? That matter is in court,” Mumba said.

“My prayer your honor is that in future leaders should not use the institutions of the state to punish, harass and inconvenience those who hold different views.”

Defence continues on March 29.