REPUBLICAN Progressive Party (RPP) leader James Lukuku has denied publishing racial statements against Chinese nationals, saying he has no hatred for humanity whatsoever.
This is a matter in which Lukuku is charged with expressing hatred or contempt against Chinese nationals due to their race.
Lukuku is alleged to have uttered words and published writings, expressing and showing hatred for Chinese nationals 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.
In February this year, chief resident magistrate Lameck Mwale found Lukuku with a case to answer in the charge of expressing or showing ridicule or contempt for persons because of race.
He however, acquitted him in the other count of uttering seditious speech.
Opening his defence, Tuesday, Lukuku said he had no hatred for humanity and further denied showing hatred against the Chinese people.
He told the court that in 2018, there was a lot of information circulating relating to dealings between the Zambian government and China where there was a general feeling that a lot of parastatal companies were being mortgaged for the benefit of Chinese companies.
Lukuku said the parastatal companies which were allegedly listed to be mortgaged included; ZNBC, Kenneth Kaunda International Airport and Zesco.
“As a political leader, I took a responsibility of speaking for my country and speaking as a voice of the voiceless,” he said.
Lukuku said on September 5, 2018, he undertook a lone protest against China as a republic and not against Chinese people.
He said during his lone protest, he carried a placard written “China equals Hitler” and he moved from Kabulonga to Hilltop Hospital in Ibex Hill.
Lukuku, however, said he was later intercepted by police who asked him to accompany them to Woodlands police, saying his activity was likely to disturb public peace.
He said at Woodlands Police, he was detained for about six hours before being released after paying an admission of guilt fee.
“My action was not received well by members of the Patriotic Front cadres and the brother of mine who brought me to this court Ibrahim Mwamba is a well known PF cadre in Northmead where I also conduct my business. I was facing a lot of harassment from Mr Mwamba and other PF cadres and they always told me that they will sort me out using various means,” Lukuku said.
He said his phone was not given back to him by the Police and that in November 2018, he was arrested and charged in relation to publishing racial statements against Chinese.
“The police said they wanted to check the people I had been communicating with. They told me that my phone would be in their custody at force headquarters with a Mr Mambwe. On November 13, 2018, I went to force headquarters where a call out was presented to me and that I was to appear for investigations the following day. On the 14th, I went to force headquarters where I found about 11 officers who started interrogating me. They brought printouts with a lot of different statements which they readout to me,” said Lukuku.
“They police mentioned about six WhatsApp groups where they said I posted information but I was very shocked. I didn’t understand and did not know any of the things they were asking. They told me that the statements came from my phone. The statement was talking about Kitwe riots.”
Lukuku said he never published the statements and that allegations against him were fabricated.
The matter comes up on May 28 this year.