Patriotic Front Deputy Secretary General Mumbi Phiri has insisted that police acted very unprofessionally during the Mongu Motorcade saga which led to the arrest of UPND president Hakainde Hichilema.
Mumbi told the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court during cross examination led by Keith Mweemba today that she blamed police for the lapse in security.
In this matter, Mumbi sued Asher Hankantu for libel for insinuating that she sacrificed her son to become a big political figure.
Hakantu is accused of posting defamatory words against Mumbi in a WhatsApp group called “We need a better Zambia” on unknown dates but between May 6, 2017 and May 8, 2017 in Lusaka.
When the matter came up for cross examination led by Keith Mweemba today, Mumbi insisted that police acted unprofessionally after the court viewed footage of her press briefing on April 10 where she told police to arrest and charge Hichilema with treason.
She however said there was no connection between her press briefing and the events which unfolded that night when police raided HH’s house.
“Why are you trying to link my job as a political cadre to the work of civil servants? My press briefing was separate,” said Mumbi.
Keith however told Mumbi that it was her duty to connect the events but it was up to the court to draw an inference.
And Mumbi admitted that there was no evidence to show that the purported defamatory words came from Hankantu or to prove that her reputation was lowered in the right thinking members of the people.
Hankantu is alleged to have called Mumbi a finished scrap cargo who only came into the political limelight after the death of her son whom she sacrificed in the Kawambwa accident.
And Mumbi also said she had no evidence that Hichilema privatised companies as she only commented on that issue after hearing of the story in the media.
Mumbi, who initially denied commenting on the privatisation issue claiming she feared to be cited for contempt, was forced to talk about it after a video was played of a briefing where she commented on it.
Meanwhile, a ZNBC employee who came to back up Mumbi’s evidence failed to concretize the defamation case as he also stated that he did not have documentary evidence to prove the allegations.
Elijah Mwesa Kaputo, a sales personnel, told the court that he was touched after seeing the defamatory statements on a Whatsapp group in which he is a member.
Kaputo also got unsettled when he was asked about exact details of where he worked after another defense lawyer, Gilbert Phiri, observed that that he was appearing doubtful when giving his particulars.