Itezhi-Tezhi station manager testifies in Parley petition


By Nation Reporter

ITEZHI TEZHI Radio station manager Akeen Maunga has delivered his witness statement as part of former Livestock Minister Greyford Monde’s submissons in his petition to challenge the election of UPND’s Herbert Shabula.

Lusaka High Court Justice Pixie Yangailo subpoenad the Itezhi Tezhi Community Radio station manager to testify and produce a recording of a radio programme where United Party for National Development (UPND) candidate with his campaign team allegedly incited people against voting for the ruling party.

Mr Maunga submitted his testimony in support of the losing PF candidate, Monde‘s evidence, said the UPND held the programme a day before the August 11 elections.

Mr Monde has called for the nullification of the Itezhi Tezhi MP Mr Shabula’s seat as the opposition won it fraudulently as they contravened the electoral code of conduct.

Mr Maunga said among the panelists were UPND aspiring candidate, Mr Shabula, aspiring councilor, Gift Luyaka, UPND campaign manager Oliver Stengu and his deputy campaign manager Godfrey Beene.

According to the radio programme interview that was played in court and submitted as evidence, the UPND officials accused the PF and Mr Monde of not taking development to the area, alleging the misuse of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

Panelists accused the former MP of failing to upgrade the roads and also of diverting a feeder machine that was bought using CDF money to other non-public activities.

Among the panelists included a Mr Luyaka and Mr Shabula who both urged the people of Itezhi Tezhi to vote for the UPND and himself as they would starve to death due to hunger and continued problems in the area.

Mr Shabula who told voters that if they wanted to vote for PF, they would “be their dogs for the coming five years” and that if PF would win the August 11, 2016 elections, it would be better for him to go to heaven than enduring suffering at their hands.

And some UPND panelists advised voters not to refuse gifts and other such presents from the PF but that they were to beat any members who would give them mealie meal or pre marked ballot papers as a way of enticing them to vote for the party.

The station manager told Ms Justice Yangailo that the radio station was eventually shut down by the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) for unprofessional conduct and inciting violence in its programming during the period leading to the voting day.

Trial continues.