State asked me to lie – witness
…in exchange with money, job to implicate Shebby Chilekwa, Mumbi Phiri
By NATION REPORTER
A STATE witness in the case in which Mumbi Phiri, the former Patriotic Front (PF) deputy secretary general and Shebby Chilekwa are charged with murder has testified that police officers from Lusaka had promised her money and a job only if she was going to testify and implicate Chilekwa, former President Lungu’s barber.
Ms Brona Lubasi yesterday stunned the Mongu High Court when she accused Zambia Police Assistant Superintendent Uyoya Simuzi of having offered her money and a job to implicate Mr Chilekwa in the murder case of a UPND cadre, Lawrence Banda.
Ms Lubasi testified that Uyoya informed her that Government had sent him together with other officers to make her a State witness and reward her with money and a job for her children to live a better life.
Lubasi testified that Uyoya was together with Donald Mulimba the arresting officer of both Phiri and Chilekwa when they visited her and offered money and a job.
“Last year in November around 07:00 hours, I received a phone call asking where I was. They said they were police officers from Lusaka and had followed the Kaoma murder case. I told them that I was in Yeta Compound at home and they asked where it was located. I informed my husband, that it was police officers from Lusaka, who called. I removed the clothes I was wearing and wore the PF T-shirt and walked to the road side so that I am easily recognized,” Ms Lubasi said.
She explained that the visit was about turning her into a State witness.
Ms Lubasi said Uyoya in the presence of two other officers and her husband, asked her what it meant to be a State witness in the matter before court.
“I saw three men approaching and I recognised Uyoya who was at Kaoma when the incident happened. He came from Lusaka. I also recognised him because we come from the same village. There was also Mulimba (Doland), he is a pastor at a Pentecostal Church and we call him Pastor Mulimba and the third person I did not know him.
“So officer Uyoya told me that we are here with regards to the incident that happened in Kaoma and I told him that the books you are carrying they are coming from Mongu police so all you want is in that books,” she explained.
Ms Lubasi said they insisted that she gives a fresh statement and explain what transpired on October 6, 2019 while, Uyoya and other two officers kept checking from the earlier statement made in 2019.
“I told them that the criminal (Lawrence Banda) had stabbed me on the side rib with an iron bar he used to smash the Toyota Hilux with. And he asked me if I knew to be a state witness. So he told me what a state witness is the one who speaks for the state. They walked out of my house for 10 to 15 minutes and later he told me government will appreciate you by employing you or give you money if you say Chilekwa killed Lawrence Banda. At this point I told Uyoya that you cannot seek a promotion through me by implicating people by making me to be a false witness. I told him that I will narrate in court the truth about what happened and all I know if you want you can kill me,” she said.
Lubasi told High Court Judge Charles Zulu that Uyoya and his team wanted her to name Chilekwa the driver as the killer of the UPND cadre.
“After those statement were taken they asked me to be their witness. I told them I will, and they said they have been sent by the state and that I should state that the person that killed the UPND cadre (Lawrence Banda) was the driver (Chilekwa). They offered me money and a job but I refused,” said Lubasi.
Meanwhile, Lubasi insisted in court that Phiri was not among the people UPND cadre Brian Mulenga named to have been in the car and gave instructions to kill Banda.
She said she was the one in charge of the PF camp and sat on the front seat of the car which was attacked by UPND cadres.
Lubasi said Ms Phiri was not there, adding that she never saw her in Site and Service where the crime is alleged to have happened.
In this case Mumbi Phiri and Shebby Chilekwa are facing one count of murder of UPND cadre Lawrence Banda in Kaoma on 6th October, 2019, during the council chairmanship by-election. The matter has been adjourned to tomorrow for continued trial.