Friday, February 15, 2013

Kachingwe recounts beating ordeal

Kachingwe recounts beating ordeal
By Namatama Mundia
Fri 15 Feb. 2013, 15:20 CAT

MAJOR Richard Kachingwe yesterday told the court that as huge as he is, he was defenceless when MMD Lusaka Province youth chairman Watson Mtonga and his three co-accused beat and hounded him out of the office.

This is in a case where Mtonga, 42, MMD Die Hard coordinator Bowman Lusambo, 35, Scorpion Kadobi, 44 and Chiwele Maimisa, 44 are charged with assault contrary to the Laws of Zambia.

It is alleged that Mtonga and three others on December 1, 2012, in Lusaka, jointly and whilst acting together with other unknown people assaulted Maj Kachingwe, publicity secretary Tobias Kafumukache and former MMD sympathiser Gregory Chifire, occasioning them actual bodily harm.

Testifying in the matter before chief resident magistrate Joshua Banda, Maj Kachingwe gave his particulars as a 62-year-old politician who belonged to the MMD party as national secretary.

He recounted that on the material day, he went to the office in the morning to execute duties as national secretary following information which he received that MMD leader Nevers Mumba did not disclose information which could have disqualified him from standing as president on that day.

Maj Kachingwe said he wrote to Mumba, informing him that he was going to invoke powers vested in him in the party constitution.

He said he wrote a letter invalidating Mumba's presidency.
Maj Kachingwe said that he then talked to MMD vice-president, administration Dr Brian Chituwo and acting chairperson Kabinga Pande, who later left his office.
He said Mtonga and his colleagues had earlier gone to the office and after a short while, he heard loud noise outside.
Maj Kachingwe said when he looked through his window, he saw a lot of youths jump onto the wall perimetre.

"The two leaders (Dr Chituwo and Pande) left and I remained alone. Then I heard them asking 'where is he?' A few minutes later, my door was pushed open and I saw Bowman entering the office and his co-accused grabbed me in the most ruthless manner, kicking and dragged me outside like a thief. They were hammering me everywhere, dragged me outside through the secretary's foyer and hell broke loose and they handed me to the hungry wolves who were waiting outside," he said.

Maj Kachingwe said he fell down and he heard Mtonga and Lusambo giving instructions that "hammer him", adding that Lusambo was a commander on that day.
He expressed shock that Lusambo could behave in such a manner when he was always at his home.

"They inflicted injury on me, I could not even defend myself. Your honour, you can see how hefty they are. I was defenceless - huge as I am - very defenceless on that day," he said.

Maj Kachingwe also testified how the police called him and informed him that his assailants had been arrested adding that he identified them on the parade at the police station.

He also identified Mtonga, Kadobi, Lusambo and Maimisa in court as the people who assaulted him.

During cross-examination, Maj Kachingwe maintained that he was still national secretary of MMD because the principles of natural justice were not allowed.
"I am still national secretary and I will challenge that purported expulsion," he said.

Maj Kachingwe said the video footage which he saw captured Lusambo instructing others to get him out.
He, however, said he could not remember if the video footage had captured the accused persons beating him.

"When we got outside, they (accused) handed me to the youths who beat me at their command. I saw Mtonga and Lusambo giving instructions that 'beat him'," said Maj Kachingwe.

Hearing continues on March 28.

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