Ndola ~ Wed, 13 Oct 2021
By Brightwell Chabusha
Kabushi PF Member of Parliament Bowman Lusambo has denied paying K20, 000 each to three Church Choirs as inducement for votes in the August 12, 2021 election.
Opening defence in his election petition, Mr Lusambo said since he was as elected as MP, he has attended over 40 Churches in his constituency.
In this case, United Party for National Development (UPND) Bernard Kanengo has petitioned Lusambo’s victory of the Kabushi Constituency seat alleging electoral malpractices, corruption and violence.
Mr Lusambo said he is a well-known public figure in his constituency.
He said he is a household name in his constituency adding that even children and ordinary people know him.
Mr Lusambo said the allegations that he was bribing electorates during campaigns are not true.
When asked by his legal counsel Jonas Zimba if it was true that on August 8, 2021, he invited two choir groups at his residence and gave them K20, 000 to share, Mr Lusambo dismissed the allegations stating that on the material day, he was in Kitwe attending a political rally at Changanamai ground in Kwacha Constituency.
The Choirs being referred to are from the Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Masala and Holy Cross Catholic Church in Kabushi.
Mr Lusambo also denied having bribed choir members from United Church of Zambia.
“As an MP, my job is to interact with the people and being a Christian my Lord, from 2015 to date, I have visited more than 40 churches and I have interacted with congregants including choir members, ” he said.
Mr Lusambo further dismissed allegations that his agent, a Mrs Nyirenda rounded up UPND members and treated them to a banquet of food.
He described the allegations that he gave a group of young men K4, 000 and also promised them sluggish dumps once they voted for him as total imagination and fabrication.
“On the material day, I was in Lusaka preparing campaigns and campaigns materials for our party on the province,” Mr Lusambo said.
He said it is not true that his supporters whom Kanengo referred to as the ‘Nato Forces’ attacked him and his supporters as on that particular day former President Edgar Lungu was in the province.
“It is not true because on that particular day, President of Zambia, His Excellency President Edgar Lungu visited Ndola and I was with the President the whole day,” he said.
And in cross examination, Kanengo’s Lawyer Chimuka Maggubwi challenged Mr Lusambo if his popularity dwindled in the 2021 general elections which called for him to do a little more compared to 2015, Lusambo agreed but stated that the number of voters in the two elections were different.
He also confirmed the presence of choir members at his residence in Ndola.
When asked if the choir groups were invited, Mr Lusambo said the choir groups were invited by his campaign manager, who later informed him of their presence at his residence.
Trial in the matter continues.