VERBATIM: The Witness In The Kaoma 2019, Lawrence Banda Murder Case

Mumbi Phiri
Mumbi Phiri


THE third witness is the driver Christopher Mapulanga, who drove the GX belonging to Sylvia Masebo, to the place where the crime is alleged to have been committed from.

The prosecution calls third witness, Christopher Mapulanga to the witness box.

Prosecution: Can you tell court your name, what you do, your age and where you live?

Christopher Mapulanga: My name is Christopher Mapulanga, a driver, I am 29 years old. I live in Chawama in Lusaka.

Prosecution: I believe you know why you are here… tell the court what you know

Mapulanga: In 2019, in October, I Christopher Mapulanga and my leader in the UPND together with provincial chairman, Brian, Lawrence Banda, Fanwell, Kalufyanya, Opalana among others, we started off from Lusaka to Kaoma.

Prosecution: Proceed

Mapulanga: My boss Chitanga was driving the vehicle. The vehicle was a GX Landcruiser and we were 9 in total. We were going for a by election in Kaoma.

Prosecution: What is the number plate of the vehicle you were using?

Mapulanga: I can’t recall the number of the motor vehicle.

Prosecution: Proceed

Mapulanga: We came to Kaoma to help our colleagues in the by election, the motor vehicle we were using had the PA system. When we reached Kaoma we lodged at General Sitwalas Lodge, and that is where we used to sleep. We had a camp where we used to eat from. It was my first time to be in Kaoma, so I cannot state where the place was as I didn’t know.

Prosecution: Then what happened?

Mapulanga: What happened, we were in camp preparing for Mangango, while, we were inside, we heard gunshots outside. Me and my friends, farewell, Brian, Chichi, Kalufyanya went outside and found that the vehicle where the gun shot came from had driven away. We saw the motor vehicle going. The vehicle was a four doors Hilux white in colour, so we sat, even the villagers from there came out and we were surprised about the event.
So, as we were there, we went back to continue preparing for Mangango, the same vehicle came back, and after it came, we saw it, that it was the same vehicle that came first. We stopped them and parked. We saw that on the dashboard there was a pistol. And we told them that you came and fired gunshots. They refused that they were not the one who fired the gunshot. Then when we were exchanging words, police officers came, police promised to deal with them. We continued with preparation for Mangango, and we moved to go to the secretariate in Kaoma, Me, Brian, Lawrence Banda, Fanwell, Chichi and Opalana and other people from Kaoma.

Prosecution: Then what happened at that time?

Mapulanga: Brian my boss received a call from the caretaker where we eat from, informing him that the PF cadres have attacked our camp.

Prosecution: Proceed

Mapulanga: We resolved that we shall not watch others destroy our camp, that is when Brian said we need to check on the same people who have destroyed the camp.
Brian, instructed that I get the keys I drive to go to the camp, we started off, myself, Lawrence Banda, Brian, Fanwell, Opalana and Kalufyanya. Others were at the back. We went to the camp we found that they had looted, and destroyed everything including scattering the food. We decided to find out where they had done. Some people there informed us that they had just left that place.

Prosecution: What did you do?

Mapulanga: We followed them, they were just near, we found them in a motor vehicle the same white Toyota Hilux that earlier came at the camp. The registration of the vehicle was BAD 5864, we parked 20m away. Brian disembarked from the motor vehicle together with Lawrence Banda, Chichi, Kalufyanya and others followed them to ask why they looted our camp.
I was the driver, at the time I wanted to came out, the music was off and windows were open, so I saw the guy opening the door, he was short and dark. He shot twice, he came out of the car, and fired twice. So, I heard the gunshot and closed the doors, I called friends to come back into the motor vehicle, I saw the mother I know Mumbi Phiri, she was getting out of the passengers’ door shouting shoot these mother fuckers…she shouted loudly that is when I saw the guy shooting at our friend.

Prosecution: How did you know that it was Madam Mumbi Phiri?

Mapulanga: Ba Mumbi Phiri is a public figure; she is a well-known person. I kept on telling my friends that I will reverse the vehicle, so many will die, the driver she was with I know him, there were other people behind their vehicle wearing PF legaria.

Prosecution: how long did that happen?

Mapulanga: It was just few minutes.

Prosecution: So, after that incidence what did you do?

Mapulanga: My friends left the guy down and got in the motor vehicle and reversed. I went to park the motor vehicle at general Sitwalas’ premises.

Cross examination
Makebi: good afternoon Mapulanga, do you remember the date you came to Kaoma?
Mapulanga: I remember Monday
Makebi: Do you remember date?
Mapulanga: It was in a month of October.
Makebi: What where you wearing on that day?
Mapulanga: UPND uniform
Makebi: What was Brian wearing
Mapulanga: I don’t know
Makebi: But you were with him all time
Mapulanga: Yes

Makebi: What was Lawrence Banda wearing?
Mapulanga: Red t-shirt
Makebi: What was Mumbi Phiri wearing that day
Mapulanga: I didn’t pay attention
Makebi: …and yet these are the people you spent time with the whole day.
Mapulanga: Yes
Makebi: On that day you said you heard two gunshots
Mapulanga: Yes when we were at the camp
Makebi: When you went do the road side you didn’t see anyone shooting
Mapulanga: Yes my lord

Makebi: You were not scared
Mapulanga: That is why we went outside
Makebi: You even followed when you were scared
Mapulanga: We wanted to find out
Makebi: You stopped the vehicle
Mapulanga: Yes
Makebi: You were not scared
Mapulanga: No
Makebi: You saw the gun on the dashboard and you were not scared
Mapulanga: No

Makebi: So, I put it to you that people you met were not hostile.
Mapulanga? No
Makebi: Do you remember giving a statement to police at any time
Mapulanga: No
Makebi: You said on the same day you came to the police and explained to them
Mapulanga: No, we did not go there, but they found us there
Makebi: Do you remember saying that you found cartridges?
Mapulanga: No, it’s police officers.
Makebi: So, you did not see the cartridges?
Mapulanga: No
Makebi: You and Brian in November, 2021 you went to Lilayi Police and gave a statement.
Mapulanga: Yes

Makebi: Did you listen to all what he said to the police
Mapulanga: Yes
Makebi: Is this your statement and signature?
Mapulanga: Yes
Makebi: And you signed that this is your statement you signed for?
Mapulanga? Yes my lord.
Makebi: Who is Chola?
Mapulanga: I don’t know
Makebi: Why did you mention Chola in your statement?
Mapulanga: No, I did not
Makebi: Was chola part of your campaign?
Mapulanga: Yes in Kaoma

Makebi: Mr chola was armed the time he was with you and he was part of the security team.
Mapulanga: He was not where I was.
Makebi: When Chola asked the police to come, where you there?
Mapulanga: He made a call.
Makebi: So, you never said this.
Mapulanga: I did not say that.
Makebi: Brian took a stand, that he heard you say that, when he was asked about Mr. Chola.
Mapulanga: No

Makebi: So, the statement should come out
Mapulanga: Police found us there
Makebi: When the police came, in two Landcruisers, you said you picked one Cartridge and Chitanga picked one Cartridge, did you say that?
Mapulanga? Police picked the cartridge
Makebi: So, you lied when you said you did not pick the cartridge? That was a lie you told Court that you did not pick cartridge.
Mapulanga: It was on a second time.
Makebi: At the first scene you did not pick the cartridge, you only picked after Lawrence Banda was shot at.
Mapulanga: Kumankala kuibala (Sometime there is forgetting)
Makebi: So, you forgot?

Mapulanga: You can’t trust your memory?
Makebi: You could have forgotten other things. Do you want me to repeat the question?
Mapulanga: I picked the cartridge the second time. Me, I was just giving a statement and the person who was writing was someone else.
Makebi: Okey, let’s follow your version.
Mapulanga: I stopped the vehicle.
Makebi: Did the police come and stopped the vehicle?
Mapulanga: The police didn’t get the fire arm but they saw it.
Makebi: When you told the court, you said they told you that they will go and see them. But (now) your statement has changed from the earlier statement…
Mapulanga: No

Makebi: Do you remember saying that you were in a group
Mapulanga: Yes
Makebi: Who was the leaders of the group
Mapulanga: Chitanga
Makebi: Who was the leader in the absence of Chitanga
Mapulanga: Brian, he is the one who said drive, let’s follow them, I followed the instruction given by Brian
Makebi: Do you know where PF were supposed to campaign that day?
Mapulanga: I don’t know
Makebi: Where were you supposed to be?
Mapulanga: We were supposed to go to Mangango
Makebi: So, you followed them?
Mapulanga: We wanted to ask them?
Makebi: You didn’t go to police

Mapulanga: We didn’t go anywhere
Makebi: Instead, you decided to confront PF
Mapulanga: Yes
Makebi: You were not one of the people who went to ask.
Mapulanga: No, I was watching what happened.
Makebi: And you saw Madam Mumbi Phiri coming out, you remember what the driver was wearing and you can’t remember what madam Mumbi Phiri was wearing.

Mapulanga: No
Makebi: Interestingly
Makebi: Did you hear what Lawrence Banda and others were asking people in the vehicle?
Mapulanga: They were shouting, they were angry.
Makebi: You were all angry the time you were going that side? And out of that anger Brian and Lawrence Banda went to the PF motor vehicle to attack them.
Mapulanga: No, they went to ask.
Makebi: Lawrence Banda and Brian Mulenga went there, Brian went to the driver’s side and Lawrence Banda went to the passengers’ side.
Mapulanga: If that is what he said its true…
Makebi: Your people approached PF in anger
Mapulanga: They went complaining
Makebi: Shouting?

Mapulanga: I never came out of the vehicle, I only heard gunshots
Makebi: Were you scared?
Mapulanga: Yes, I was scared
Makebi: So, you were scared, in a state of fear you saw a person like Mumbi Phiri
Mapulanga: yes
Makebi: And you drove away
Mapulanga: He shot at someone
Makebi: You drove back (reversed), did you meet the police? Where did you go?
Mapulanga: To park the vehicle
Makabeio: Why were you parking the vehicle
Mapulanga: I was scared

Makebi: Do you know who took him to the hospital
Mapulanga: No
Makebi: Do you know when he died?
Mapulanga: We were just told that your friend has died, me and my friend ran into the bush we left others me and chichi.
Makebi: You ran away because you were scared that your car would be destroyed
Mapulanga: No, not because of the motor vehicle
Makebi: After parking

Mapulanga: We went to into the bush.
Makebi: You didn’t go to the police. It would be different if you went to police
Mapulanga: We didn’t have trust in the police
Makebi: …the whole time you were in Kaoma, did you report any matter to the police?
Mapulanga: No

Makebi: The only time you went to police was on 8th November 2021, 2 years 2 months later in Lilayi with regards to this matter?
Mapulanga: Yes
Makebi: …do you remember that President Hakinde Hichilema in September, 2021 he said Mumbi Phiri knows people who killed Lawrence Banda and has to be held responsible?
Mapulanga: I was at the farm, I cannot remember, the just called me that I should give a statement.
Makebi: You never spoke to any police about this matter since 2019 until 2021 November?
Mapulanga: They told me to give a statement
Makebi: You were able to remember the registration of the motor vehicle and what Shebby was dressed in?
Mapulanga: What happened (that day) I can’t forget the incident.
Makebi: Yet you have forgotten the number plate of the vehicle you had.
Mapulanga: Just said I drove the vehicle from the secretariate, I can’t remember the number plate.
Makebi: Do you have an explanation where the police did not witness your statement?
Mapulanga: I don’t know, they just said sign here,
Makebi: Just confirm, that no one witnessed your statement
Mapulanga: No one my lord.

Makebi: That is, for this witness me my Lord…
Jonas Zimba comes to cross examine Mapulanga.
Zimba: Mapulanga, Is, it your desire that if a government leaves others should get in trouble?
Mapulanga: No
Zimba: Do you remember that whilst in Kaoma you parked the vehicle and ran away into the bush?
Mapulanga: Yes
Zimba: You ran away because you were scared that you would be arrested.
Mapulanga: We were scared that they will kill us.
Zimba: Look at your group, it’s only UPND and they just went to report, you are the ones that went to make statements.
Mapulanga: It’s only me and Brian and Chitanga
Zimba: You are all UPND cadres, and if someone came and said these statements were made from Headquarters, they will be lying because of they made them at Lilayi.
Mapulanga: They will be.

Done for this witness my Lord….
Court: Re-Cross examination
Prosecution: Nothing my Lord.
Court: Witness stand down…

(Christopher Mapulanga in checked shirt entering the Mongu High Court to testify as witness Tuesday)


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