A Cyber Security technician from ZICTA has told the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court that a message which was allegedly inciting riots against the Chinese was sent to six WhatsApp groups using Republican Progressive Party (RPP) leader James Lukuku’s phone.
Chita Chibesakunda told the court that among the WhatsApp groups to which the message was sent were Inter-Party Youths pa zed, Smart Voters and Democratic Governance.
This is a matter in which Lukuku is charged with sedition and expressing hatred or contempt against the Chinese due to their race.
It is alleged in the first count that Lukuku, between November 1 and 5, 2018, utterec a seditious speech titled ‘Kitwe riots against China are welcome, let us multiply these riots a million fold’.
The said statement was circulated in five WhatsApp groups.
In the second count, Lukuku is alleged to have uttered words and published writings, expressing and showing hatred for the Chinese because of their race and place of origin when he allegedly issued the statement in which he called for people to protest against the Chinese influence in Zambia.
He had pleaded not guilty.
When the matter came up for continuation of trial before Lusaka Chief Resident Magistrate Lameck Mwale, Tuesday, Chibesakunda testified that on November 14, 2018, a Zambia Police officer took a letter to ZICTA requesting the authority to extract a WhatsApp message from a mobile device, a Tecno c9 and the case was assigned to him.
He told the court that the letter requested for a WhatsApp message that had purportedly been posted on five WhatsApp groups.
Chibesakunda, however, added that when he proceeded to conduct digital forensic on the device, his findings were that the message which was being searched for was in six WhatsApp groups.
He said the machine was also able to show the administrators of each WhatsApp group where the message was sent.
Chibesakunda said he then wrote a report, which he submitted to the police officer.
Meanwhile, Henry Sakala, a 60-year-old Chief portfolio officer, testified that in November 2018, workers at Zambia Forestry and Forest Industries Corporation (ZAFFICO) rioted against the purported sale of the company to the Chinese.
Sakala said he traveled to the Copperbelt to assure the workers that the company was not sold and that there was no need to be apprehensive.
In cross examination, he confirmed that the workers were expressing displeasure that the company had been sold.
Sakala added that the riot was a way of communicating to government that it had made a mistake by selling ZAFFICO and that it should correct the error.
He confirmed that there was an intention to list ZAFFICO’s shares for purchase by the majority shareholder.
Sakala added that the intentions to sell ZAFFICO’s shares was still being pursued by government and that public announcements had been made although the company had not issued a statement.