A 16-YEAR-OLD Grade 12 pupil of Chiwala Secondary School in Masaiti, yesterday told the Ndola Magistrate’s Court that People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president George Mpombo’s 17-year-old son allegedly asked him to dispose of a pistol, which was hidden in his trunk at school.
The boy testified before Ndola principal resident magistrate Obbister Musukwa that Mpombo’s son, who is his schoolmate, allegedly asked him to throw away the gun while they were being questioned at Ndola Central Police Station where they had been summoned for questioning over a missing girl.
Mpombo, 61, a farmer in Senior Chief Chiwala’s area in Masaiti, is charged with one count of failing to secure a firearm contrary to the Firearms Act.
It is alleged that Mpombo (left), on unknown dates but between December 1 last year and January 19 this year in Masaiti, failed to secure his Norinco 9.9 millimetre pistol serial No. 202329.
The juvenile told Mr Musukwa when the matter came up for commencement of trial that he was summoned to the police station along with Mpombo’s son because he is his friend.
He told the court that after leaving Ndola Police Station, Mr Mpombo drove to school in his vehicle and when he was about to be dropped off at the school, he decided to get the gun from the trunk and surrendered it to Mpombo instead of throwing it.
“It was on January 18 this year, when we were summoned to Ndola Central Police Station in connection with the missing lover of Mpombo’s son. After the questioning at the police station, the officer-in-charge told the officers to detain Mpombo’s son and since we were seated on the same bench, he whispered to me saying I should go and throw the gun which was in one of the trunks in our dormitory, but I surrendered it to his father together with his other belongings since he had been expelled from school,” the teenager said.
Asked whether he knew his friend’s lover, the teenager said he did not know her because she was saved as ‘bitchest’ in his phone.
And when further asked if he could identify the gun if he saw it, he said he would.
“I am not conversant with guns but I watch movies and what I saw looked like a pistol to me,” he said.
And superintendent Joseph Ng’uni, 47, a forensic examiner at Ndola Central Police Station, told Mr Musukwa that he examined the firearm and that his findings were that it was a commercial lethal weapon which must only be possessed and lawfully used by a holder of a valid licence or permit in Zambia.
“What this means is that the firearm must not land in the wrong hands, lest it may be used by criminal elements to commit crimes. And after issuing the firearm to the right owner, he ought to secure it all the time under lock and key as it may cause danger to life,” Mr Ng’uni said.
The firearm with three rounds of ammunition was submitted as evidence.
And Mr Evaristo Mwamba, an investigations officer, told the court that the lock of Mpombo’s wardrobe where he keeps the firearm was tampered with.
Mr Mwamba told Mr Musukwa that Mpombo had allegedly failed to secure the firearm as the wardrobe was not a safe place to safeguard the firearm as it was meant for the storage of clothes.
Mpombo is being represented by Chimuka Magubbwi of Magubbwi and Associates of Ndola.
Mr Musukwa adjourned the case to March 17, this year for ruling.
And in another court, Mpombo’s son appeared for mention where magistrate Moffat Phiri was informed that the court is waiting for instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The juvenile is alleged to have shot dead his 17-year-old lover, Ruth Phiri, and beheaded her after she informed him that she was pregnant for him.
The juvenile is remanded in custody.
Zambia Daily Mail