Power and Politics

Witness tells court how Zulu’s claims on early elections shocked him


A witness says he was in shock and confused after watching Lumezi lndependent Member of Parliament, Munir Zulu, on Facebook saying he had reliable information that President Hakainde Hichilema was going to dissolve parliament and call for early elections.

Moses Kalonde, 50, told Lusaka magistrate, Trevor Kasanda, on Tuesday that he had no doubt about the news because he believed in Zulu as he was a Member of Parliament.

In this matter, Zulu is charged with one count of Seditious Practices Contrary to Section 57 (1) (b) as read with section 60 (1) (e) of the Penal Code Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia, the charge he denied.

It is alleged that Zulu, on September 6, 2023, in Lusaka uttered seditious words on social media, to which he claimed to have had reliable information that, “the President was going to dissolve parliament on Friday September 8, 2023 after addressing parliament, and that he was going to call for early elections.

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He further advised Zambians to prepare for campaigns after the President dissolved parliament, words alleged to be capable of inciting violence and an offence prejudicial to public order or in disturbance of the public peace.

“I do recall on September 6, 2023, I was going through Facebook and I came across a live broadcast on Smart Eagles where honourable Munir Zulu addressing the nation saying that he had reliable information that the President was going to dissolve parliament,” he said.

Kalonde said Zulu went further and said the President was going to call for early elections within 90 days.

“When I got this news, I started panicking. I became disappointed, I asked myself to say why should this current government take us into an early election when we are just barely two years coming from another general election. Yet I did not see any indicators pointing to the President dissolving parliament.

“I was in a state of shock, confused, seeing that the bearer of this information, the one who broadcast this information is a member of the National Assembly,” he testified.

Kalonde further testified that after contemplating on the issue, he decided to report the matter to police service headquarters to institute investigations.

The court had since adjourned the matter to February 26, 2024 for continuation of trial.

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