While holding back tears, the owner of a restaurant where public prosecutor Nsama Chipyoka was shot sombrely recounted yesterday, how the civil servant was wounded and later died.
Cabinet restaurant manager Rebecca Lombe said before Mr Chipyoka was injured, he had ordered some coffee and was trying to rush back to his workplace for safety.“In a split second, I saw the mug [cup which Mr Chipyoka held] flying off his hand.
He dropped and held on to the grille gate.“I asked what was wrong. At this point, my thinking was, ‘he has just fainted’, because people in the premises were lying down,” Mrs Lombe said amid sobs.
She appeared before Lusaka High Court judge Joshua Banda to testify in a case police constable Fanwell Nyundu is accused of killing Mr Chipyoka and United Party for National Development (UPND) sympathiser Joseph Kaunda.
The two were allegedly shot dead on December 23 last year as police officers dispersed UPND supporters who had gathered at the Police headquarters to offer solidarity to President Hakainde Hilchilema, who at the time in the opposition.
Mr Chipyoka, commonly known as Nsama Nsama, was shot in the chest at the Cabinet restaurant next to the National Prosecutions Authority (NPA) building, where he worked.Mr Kaunda was shot in the head close to where Mr Chipyoka was injured.
Nyundu was later arrested in connection with the murder of the two, an offence he denied.In her testimony, Mrs Lombe, a chef, narrated that on the material day, she reported for work in the morning and later received a phone call from Mr Chipyoka, who requested for coffee.“He later came through shortly before 10:00 hours and we entered the restaurant,” Mrs Lombe said.
Mr Chipyoka took his coffee as Mrs Lombe, who was accompanied by a friend, also sat on another table.“Within 10 minutes, we heard a loud bang from outside. We saw some smoke from the windows in the western side.
I asked what the smoke was and Nsama Nsama said [it’s] tear gas,” Mrs Lombe said.She said a group of people who had earlier been spotted near the presidential burial site ran towards the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority offices on Independence Avenue.“We went back to sit but in less than a minute, I heard another bang and people started running and screaming.
Nsama Nsama stood up and said that he needed to get back to his office before the situation got tense,” she said.
Mrs Lombe offered to escort Mr Chipyoka, who also asked to finish off the coffee from his workplace. “When he walked out through the veranda while I was behind him, in a split of a second, the first thing I saw is the mug flew off his hand.
He dropped and held on to the grille gate,” Mrs Lombe said while weeping.She called out his name and asked what was wrong, but he laid face up, mute.“A man who was lying down right in front of me shouted and told me to ‘go back inside [the restaurant] and leave him [Mr Chipyoka because] he was dead,” Mrs Lombe said.