Court hears that Edgar Lungu was addressed as M.Lungu in his acceptance letter to UNZA

By Staff Reporter
THE Lusaka Magistrates’ Court has heard in a case in which New Labour Party leader Fresher Siwale is charged with defamation of the President that Edgar Lungu’s admission to the University of Zambia acceptance letter addresses him as dear M.Lungu.
This was during cross examination after Siwale and his defence lawyers Keith Mweemba and Gilbert Phiri analysed a  student file produced by UNZA registrar Sitali Wamundila containing Edgar Lungu’s admission to law school acceptance letter, photocopy of the National Registration Card, a passport photo and academic credentials.
Allegations are that Siwale on April 22, 2018  with intent to bring the name of the President  into ridicule  published defamatory matter by word of mouth to which he said, “the President of Zambia is not the actual Edgar Chagwa Lungu but Jonathan Mutawale”.
Siwale called for President Lungu’s arrest for allegedly  having three National Registration Cards as he is an identity thief”.
During hearing of the case before magistrate Alice Walusiku, Mweemba gave Wamundila the file he produced in court to read its contents and the court heard that it addresses Edgar Lungu as dear M.Lungu.
However, Wamundila earlier explained that the M was for Mr but when Mweemba put it to him that in fact the M was in reference to Mutawale, the UNZA registrar declined, explaining that UNZA in its letters to students addresses the male ones as Mr while the female students are addressed as Miss.
Later, Wamundila changed his testimony, explaining that the M was purely typographical error.
Asked by the defence to show any legal document of Edgar Lungu which shows his initial as M considering that President Lungu’s initias is  ECL for Edgar Chagwa Lungu, Wamundila said he was not aware of any.
According to documents which Wamundila produced, the file shows that it is for Edgar Lungu who is addressed as Dear M.Lungu in the acceptance letter.
On the addresses for the said Edgar Lungu, the residential addresses he signed which is  typed showed that he was of house number 4001, Chimwemwe, Kitwe while the handwritten one shows house number 6408/1 Chimwemwe, Kitwe.
Wamundila said the document showed that it was signed for but he did not know who signed.
However, in the booklet for the graduates, it showed that Edgar Chagwa Lungu graduated with a merit.
But when asked who added the word Chagwa on Edgar Lungu when his acceptance letter did not include the Chagwa name, Wamundila said it was UNZA management that added it because the passport photo on his official file showed that it was the same Edgar Chagwa Lungu who was sworn in as President who was their student.
And in his evidence in chief, Wamundila testified how he received a letter in his office that came from the police requesting for information from UNZA for candidates who were students from 1978 to 1981 and that the letter did specify that the police were investigating a matter regarding the defamation of the President.
Wamundila said as custodian of all students records, he went through the records and retrieved the file that had the names for the President.
He described the file he retrieved from the UNZA records and also a booklet for the students that graduated.
But when further cross examined, Wamundila said he had not yet joined UNZA when the said Edgar Lungu was a student so he did not see whether it was the same one who is the current President.
He agreed with the defence that he is not competent to tell whether this M. Lungu  that UNZA admitted in the school of law was the same Edgar Chagwa Lungu, the Republican President.
Another witness Philemon Mwisa Kapukanya, an editor at Government Printers, produced a gazette showing that the current President changed his name from Edgar Lungu to Edgar Chagwa Lungu.
According to the notice of change of name by deed poll dated August 7, 1986 and registered at the principal registry at the High Court for Zambia at Lusaka, Zambia, it reads that: “I Edgar Chagwa Lungu of Lusaka in the Lusaka district in the Lusaka Province in Zambia, holder of NRC no 216992/67/1 do hereby absolutely relinquish the use of my former name of Edgar Lungu and in lieu thereof do assume as from the date of this presence the name of Edgar Chagwa Lungu. I hereby declare that I shall at all times hereafter in all dealings and transactions and upon all occasions whatsoever, use, sign, subscribe the said name of Edgar Chagwa Lungu.
The case was adjourned to August 13 for continued hearing.