Zambia Daily Mail deputy managing director Chapadongo Lungu has testified in the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court how press briefings were called at State House where President Edgar Lungu appointed Kaizer Zulu as special assistant for political affairs and Stephen Kampyongo as Home Affairs Minister, in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
He was testifying in a matter where NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili is charged with defamation of the President.
Allegations are that between August 26 and 27 this year in Lusaka, Kambwili, with intent to bring the name of the President into hatred, ridicule or contempt, published an insulting matter by word of mouth saying, “Noti ishi imbwa shabantu yaleikala fye Ku Chawama elo yamona ste ati ntandale icalo, eko baita fye kuya. Kuti washo umutengo wabunga balelwa 150 Waya? Kumona fye abantu abika kuti wabula Kampyongo, ati Minister of Home Affairs? Kuti Chaba Chalo ? Ba Kaizer Zulu. Okay bane” Meaning not these people who are like dogs who used to stay in Chawama when it saw ste decides to move all over the world, when ever it is called, it goes. Can you leave the price of mealie meal they fight 150 you go. You can even see the people he appoints. How do you appoint Kampyongo as minister of home affairs? Can it be a country? Ba Kaiser Zulu. Okay guys.
When the matter came up for continued trial before chief resident magistrate Lameck Mwale, Monday, Lungu, 45, of Meanwood Ndeke testified that on January 26, 2015, a press briefing was called at State House during which President Lungu made various appointments to his Cabinet.
He said one of the appointments made during the said press briefing was that of special assistant for political affairs, Kaizer Zulu.
Lungu added that the following day, Zambia Daily Mail published a story of the same appointments under the headline ‘Wina is Veep’.
The State witness further testified that on September 14, 2016, they were again called for a press briefing at State House where the President was making appointments to his cabinet, adding that Stephen Kampyongo was appointed as Minister of Home Affairs.
“Since we publish the following day, on September 15, we carried a story on the front page with a headline ‘Mutati Finance Minister’. In the body of that story we did mention the appointment of Stephen Kampyongo as minister of Home Affairs,” Lungu said.
Asked in cross examination by defence lawyers if he was aware that Zulu and Kampyongo were also appointed by the late President, Micheal Chilufya Sata in government positions, the witness said yes.
Further asked if he knew the date the alleged defamatory words were publicized, Lungu said he can’t remember the date but that he saw the video which was circulating.
He added that the said video doesn’t state anything about the date
The matter comes up on February 4, 2020 for continued trial.