ZAMBIA – Mr. Nevers Mumba, Zambian opposition party leader, has been jailed for three months for gaining access to the country’s state broadcaster by lying to a police officer.
Lusaka magistrates David Simusamba found the former televangelist guilty of one offence of giving false information to a public officer.
He, however, acquitted him of criminal trespass into the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC).
Mumba was accused of having given false information to a police officer that he had an appointment with an editor of ZNBC.
In the second count, he was accused of trespassing into ZNBC with intent to annoy staff.
Mr Simusamba said Mumba was a former vice-president who should have refrained from acting in a reckless manner.
The magistrate said he had also put into account the fact that Mumba committed the offence in a political environment.
On September 8, 2016, Mumba was said to have unlawfully entered ZNBC newsroom with intent to intimidate and annoy the staff.
He was protesting over a story which was aired concerning the presidential hearing.
President Edgar Lungu, who was for the second time elected in 2016, has been accused of clamping down on dissent.
The opposition condemned the conviction.
Main opposition UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema tweeted saying: “Our brother Nevers Mumba has been convicted for three months for simply visiting ZNBC. This must stop.”
Meanwhile, there was commotion at the Lusaka Magistrates Court as ailing opposition NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili sought bail for the graft case he was facing.
While the hullabaloo to process his bail was playing out, Mr Kambwili, 50, recently from a hospital, was reported to have collapsed as he waited in the holding cell.
As his supporters pushed to rush him to the hospital, police would not have any of those requests resulting in a bitter exchange of words, with some supporters openly wailing while he lay motionless in the vehicle.
Mr Hichilema called the treatment by police “brutal’.