Former justice minister Ngosa Simbyakula has disowned an alleged Patriotic Front document detailing how the ruling party planned to use violence, tribal division among other things to win the 2016 elections.
This is in a matter in which UPND lawyer Martha Mushipe was charged with seditious practices for being found in possession of the said document which is entitled ‘Strategy of domination by the Patriotic Front against the opposition United Party for National Development 2015 to 2016 and beyond, UPND at crossroads transition or conflict, PF’s use of ethnic divide and rule as a means of maintaining political control in Zambia 2015 to 2016 and beyond’.
When the matter came up before Lusaka magistrate Felix Kaoma today, Dr Simbyakula, who is listed as one of the authors of the said document, said it is fake and it was posted by unknown people on the Zambian Watchdog.
“The document is definitely fake. I didn’t author the document I don’t even know the names of other authors,” said Dr Simbyakula.
He testified that two journalists from Bulletin and Record Magazine, Charles Mafa and David Julian Wightman, had called him over the same document but he told them that it was fake.
Dr Simbyakula said the two journalists told him that that they downloaded the document from the Zambian Watchdog.
And in cross examination, the witness insisted that the document was fake.
Asked as to whether or not what was happening during last year’s general election was not collaborative with the strategy outlined in the document, Dr Simbyakula said that it might have been a coincidence.
He however confirmed to the court that the two journalists had in their possession the document as they downloaded it from internet.
Dr Simbyakula said that he didn’t manage to check the site where the document was as he is not a fan of online publications that propagated false stories as they could end up stressing him.
He said the phenomenon of false news was a danger to society.
Dr Simbyakula also said he was not sure whether the Public Order Act was applied fairly during the last election.
Mushipe is alleged to have been in possession of seditious material between July 1, 2015 and April 11, 2016 in Lusaka jointly and whilst acting together with other unknown persons and without lawful excuse.
The document was authored by Tendai Muduli, Dr Simbyakula and Dymus Mutasa.