Nevers refuses to swear on Bible

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 09:52:16 +0000

 

By Charles Musonda

PASTOR Nevers Mumba yesterday surprised court attendants when he opted to give evidence in affirmation as opposed to swearing on the Bible.

Mumba, who gave his occupation as pastor and politician (and MMD president), told Senior Resident Magistrate David Simusamba that his calling did not allow him to swear on the Bible when testifying before a court of law.

This was when he opened defence in his case of criminal trespass and lying to a public officer. He said he was only in court because he was an opposition leader; and because the atmosphere that prevailed during last August elections.

“I am here because we questioned the legitimacy of the election results. My prayer is that never again should any government use State institutions to punish, harass and inconvenience those who hold different political views,

“The prosecution struggled to deny me bail over the case they knew was unfair. They felt the two nights I spent in incarceration were not enough to teach me a lesson. My only motive for going to ZNBC is that I did what I have done for the past 28 years by driving to ZNBC,” Mumba said.

It was alleged that on September 8, 2016 Mumba stormed the ZNBC newsroom to inquire about an item broadcast on the 19:00 hours main news regarding adjournment of one of the court actions the UPND had initiated over the August 11 election results.

This was after he allegedly lied to police officers manning the main gate that he had an appointment with the news editor.

He said ZNBC was like University Teaching Hospital (UTH)and that as long as it was a public institution, he did not need permission to go there, adding that he was one of the Zambians who supported the national broadcaster by paying TV levy.

“I am here because I went to ZNBC to make an inquiry and outside that there was no other motive. I stand here with a heavy heart because ZNBC belongs to Zambians,

“ If the case I committed was to go to ZNBC, I don’t understand why I was treated like a criminal- 60 police officers coming to my house, affecting my children and my grandchildren,” Mumba said.

He further told the court that evidence given by prosecution witnesses shocked him because he had cordial interactions with ZNBC staff he found in the newsroom and that the jovial atmosphere could not instil fear, annoyance and the feeling of him demeaning them.

Mumba said it was not possible for him to threaten to halt President Lungu’s inauguration because no individual could stop a State function single handed.

He said police officers did not ask him about his mission to ZNBC in the night, adding that he did not find this to be irregular as he had been there numerous times during his 28-year tele-evangelism and in his tenure as republican Vice President and MMD president.

 

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