By CHARLES MUSONDA
JUSTICE Minister Given Lubinda yesterday wept in court recalling how he was assaulted while performing duties he was elected for as Patriotic Front (PF) Kabwata member of Parliament.
Mr. Lubinda told Lusaka Chief Resident Magistrate Lameck Mwale that the assault was extremely painful and he has not managed to recover from the shock and humiliation he suffered. At this point he could not hold back his tears.
After few moments of sobbing in a suppressed tone, he told Mr. Mwale that on the day he was assaulted he was in Kabwata market for the good of the people.
In this case, Martin Mambwe, 38, a driver of Kalingalinga is charged with one count of assaulting Lubinda thereby occasioning actual bodily harm while his four co-accused are charged with proposing violence or breaches of the law to assemblies. They are businessmen Patrick Mubanga, 40, of Zambia Railways compound behind Intercity Bus Terminus, Major Chansa, 35, of Misisi compound, Moses Mulenga, 35, and Goodson Mwange, 45, of John Laing. He said on July 12, 2019 after attending Parliament, he was scheduled to visit Libala and Kabwata markets but his aide-de-camp Dominic Nsokoshi suggested that they start with Kabwata because it is bigger.
Mr. Lubinda, 57, said it was imperative for him to go to Kabwata because developers from Time Projects, who were building a mall outside the market, complained to him that they had paid a certain cadre K205, 000 for him to go and induce traders, who were trading there, to vacate and pave way for a car park.
He said he received the complaint in the presence of Lusaka Town Clerk Alex Mwansa and Kabwata Ward Councilor Longa Chiboboka and that he strongly objected to political parties being involved in the running of markets and bus stations.
He said while touring the market, he engaged a lady whom he found at a cosmetic shop which he noticed had been built close to the drainage system.
He said while talking to the lady he saw a large group of young men approaching from the other direction and he initially thought they were ordinary youths coming to meet their MP.
“One of them extended his hand to me and I shook hands with him. Before long somebody who was standing behind me started hurling insults at me in Bemba and the fellow who held my hand started pulling it.
That was striking with the words that were being uttered,” Mr. Lubinda said.
He said he was accused of being useless, and he was asked what he wanted in the market. Mr. Lubinda said he was also accused of destroying the PF and that after being appointed minister he and his family were eating well.
He said was further accused of trying to block youths from operating in bus stations and he was asked if they were going to eat his mother. He said there was commotion and later realized that they were not ordinary youths.
Mr. Lubinda said he then received a slap and a fist in his face; and felt kicks behind him.
He said he felt shocked and red-hot in his face. He identified Mambwe in court as the person who slapped and punched him.
The State has closed its case and the court will make a ruling on whether or not there is a case to answer on April 24, 2020.
By CHARLES MUSONDA