State witness Chitongo Lubita, a social worker and now plumber at Levy Mwanawasa Hospital, has testified that UPND member and Lusaka businessman Mwangala Nkonde Ngalande made plans to gun down the presidential plane as a means to overthrow President Edgar Lungu’s government.
Mr Lubita was testifying on Friday in the matter Mr Ngalande is charged with one count of treason for allegedly attempting to overthrow the administration of President Lungu.
The 58-year-old Mr Ngalande of plot number 7 Ben Bella Road in Roma Township was arrested on November 26, 2019, on allegations that he, between August 1, 2019 and December 1, 2019 in Lusaka, jointly and whilst acting together with other persons unknown, prepared or endeavored to overthrow by unlawful means, the government of the Republic of Zambia as by law established.
His charge is accompanied by three overt acts which allege that during the same period, he conspired with Simon Njobvu to assassinate the Head of State, Chief Justice Ireen Mambalima, Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini, Defence minister Davies Chama and Service Chiefs.
Other allegations are that the accused conspired with Mr Njobvu to source for international funding and actually obtained $1.6 million to use in their plans to overthrow the government of the Republic of Zambia.
The court heard that 10 people were so far recruited to execute the plan after some military training.
A preliminary inquiry was instituted into the matter by Chief Resident Magistrate Lameck Mwale to ascertain whether or not there is sufficient evidence to warrant trial in Mr Ngalande’s matter following an application by the accused’s lawyer Ms Martha Mushipe, who is also a staunch UPND member.
Testifying before the court on Friday, Mr Lubita narrated how the accused shared strategies with him on how to remove President Lungu from Office while they were drinking whisky and eating nshima at a certain place behind Ndeke hotel in Lusaka on September 13, 2019.
According to his testimony, the accused person even demonstrated to him how to gun down the plane as the presidential helicopter flew over them while they drank their whisky.
Mr Lubita said Ngalande even made a suggestion that the best days to gun down the plane was on Independence Day or National Day of Prayer held on October 18.
He also mentioned that it was Mr Angelos Krasmire who introduced him to Ngalande is believed to be the owner of the house where they met with the accused.
The witness further told the court that Mr Ngalande told him that he was also working with a Zambia Air Force (ZAF) colonel on the plan to overthrow the government, saying they planned to either use the Zimbabwean style of paying people to demonstrate on the streets or use the military.
The matter was later reported to police, leading to Mr Ngalande’s arrest.