Two suspected UPND cadres charged with the murder of a PF member in Kanyama last year have denied committing the offence in the Lusaka High Court saying the prosecution witnesses accused them because they were members of the opposition.
And one of the accused persons identified as Fabian Mwanza has testified that he was arrested for being in possession of offensive weapons but to his surprise, he was also charged with the murder of the PF member while in custody.
This is in a matter in which James Banda, alias Meno Meno and Fabian Mwanza alias Junior Mbuzi, both 27, are alleged to have killed Steven Kalipa on April 2, 2017 after a failed UPND rally in Kanyama near Mbasela market.
It is alleged that one of the accused persons was found with a sharp metal instrument round his waist.
And testifying in his defence before High Court judge Chanda Mwamba, Monday, Mwanza said he did not know anything about the death of the PF member.
He said the prosecution witnesses were PF carders and their goal was to frame them for the murder.
Mwanza further told the court that on the night before the incident, he attended a church overnight and only returned the next morning to attend a rally within Kanyama.
“On the night before the incident, I went to a church overnight and only returned the next morning and thereafter went straight to attend a rally within Kanyama from 06:00 hours to 7:00hours. I decided to leave the said rally and went straight home where I reached between 08:00 hours and never left the house that day,” he said.
Mwanza testified that on April 26, 2017, he was arrested for being in possession of offensive weapons and that while in custody for that offence, he was also charged with murder.
“On April 26, 2017, I was charged with a case of being in possession of offensive material. Police had never looked for me for an offence of murder until sometime in May when they took me from the cell where I was being held and subjected me to an identification parade where there were a lot of accused persons. To my surprise, police officers took me and said I was being charged with murder of Steven Kalipa. The officers did not explain to me until today. There is nothing I know in relation to the murder of Steven Kalipa,” he said.
Asked whether he was able to identify the murder weapon as shown to him, Mwanza said he was seeing it for the first time in court.
He also denied ever being anywhere near Mbasela market.
Mwansa further said he was a busy man that spent the whole day at Soweto market where he worked as a call boy.