By Agness Changala-Katongo
Football administrator Simata Simata has testified in the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court that Labour Party Leader Fresher Siwale told him that the Edgar Lungu he knew had died and the current President Edgar Chagwa Lungu had taken up the deceased’s identify.
And Mukuba Secondary School headteacher told the court that President Edgar Lungu was a pupil at the school and wrote his forms three and five in 1974 and 1976 respectively, where he received an unsatisfactory nine in Maths and missed Physics.
This is in a case where Siwale is charged with defamation of President Lungu contrary to the Laws of Zambia.
It is alleged in this matter that Siwale on April 22, 2018, with intent to bring the name of President Edgar Lungu into ridicule, published defamatory matter by word of mouth to which he said, ‘The President of the Republic of Zambia is not the actual Edgar Chagwa Lungu but Jonathan Mutawale, he must be arrested for having three National Registration Cards, he is an identity thief’.
Testifying before magistrate Alice Walusiku in the case, Simata, who is also former NAREP secretary-general alleged that Siwale went to his house and claimed that President Lungu was not the Edgar Lungu he knew from Mukuba Secondary School in Kitwe.
He said he challenged Siwale on the allegations and asked him to leave his house because what he was saying was not right.
Simata who said President Lungu was his senior two grades ahead at Mukuba Secondary School, also told the court that he had known Siwale for some time.
He told Magistrate Walusiku that he first met Siwale at the National Citizens Coalition (NCC) in the mid-1990s under the presidency of Nevers Mumba and also in the Patriotic Front ( PF ) when he was chairperson for elections.
The witnesses told the court that at the beginning of 2018, he met Siwale in Chelstone where he lives and after inquiring about each other’s health and exchanging greetings they agreed to meet where they further discussed life issues before discussing President Lungu.
Simata said Siwale inquired from him whether President Lungu had
ever called him since they left Mukuba Secondary School but his response was that he had not met Lungu from the secondary school days until when he went to the University of Zambia (UNZA) and later met him after joining PF.
He said he further told Siwale that President Lungu had never called him, but Siwale asked him why he thought he had not called him and he explained that they were just schoolmates.
Simata said Siwale told him that he had conducted a research and discovered that the person they had been calling Edgar Lungu was not the one and that they argued to the extent that he asked Siwale to leave his house.
“He was saying his Excellency President Edgar Lungu was not the one. The one I knew had died and that this one who was the current President of the country had taken up the deceased’s identify and I challenged him because the one I knew was the one at State House,” Simata said.
Simata said a couple of days after President Lungu’s discussion, he was phoned by a journalist from Prime Television by the name of Kaseba who interrogated him on the same issue.
He said Kaseba went on to write an article on Facebook which he
immediately replied to say, “you can say whatever you like but I went to school with President Edgar Lungu and I am the witness.”
Simata said he was later approached by police on the same issue.
And Musongo Joyce Kabamba of Kitwe on the Copperbelt said President Lungu was a pupil at her school saying it was the reason he was part of the former Mukuba Boys Secondary School Association where he was also guest of honour at the launch of the association on July, 6 last year.
She said during the launch of the association some money was a fundraised which has gone towards the refurbishing of the school’s computer laboratory and two classrooms which were previously gutted.
The headmistress said there is also a block named Edgar Chagwa Lungu which hosts the best performing boys at the school.
Kabamba told magistrate Walusiku that in May 2018, she received police officers from Lusaka who wanted to find out whether Edgar Lungu had been a pupil at Mukuba Secondary School.
Kabamba said he got in touch with the career department where all school records were kept and asked for the record for the period asked for and she was given the records in the presence of the officers.
She said the documents which were provided to her were from form three certificate results (grade 10) of 1974 and form five certificate results of 1976 (grade 12) in which Edgar Lungu participated.
Kabamba said the results for form three showed Edgar Lungu having written the examination in 1974 and that he wrote the form five examination in 1976.
She said Edgar Lungu was indicated as having written examinations at
Mukuba Secondary School and that he was a pupil at the school.
Kabamba said the other thing which connected Edgar Lungu to the school was that in 2019 she received former Mukuba boys secondary
school pupils and Edgar Lungu was among the pupils.
She said according to the form five results, Edgar Lungu failed his
mathematics as he got a nine which was unsatisfactory.
Kabamba said Edgar Lungu also got a two in English, 3 in
literature, 3 in history, 6 in Bemba but was absent in physics.
And in cross-examination by one of the defence lawyers Keith Mweemba, Kabamba agreed that she had no passport size photo to show that the Edgar Lungu who was at Mukuba secondary school was President Lungu.
Kabamba also said according to the school records there was no
Chagwa on the record and further agreed that she was not at Mukuba Secondary School during the period.
She, however, said although she was not at the school at the time, she was certainly going by the records that the President was the Edgar Lungu who was at Mukuba secondary school but said she did not know who his English teacher was.
Kabamba agreed that a citizen has the right to report to the police a person alleged to have more than one National Registration Card (NRC).