Ballistic expert tells court it is possible there were many shooters where prosecutor Nsama was killed

BALLISTIC expert Daniel Banda has told the Lusaka High Court that it is possible that there were many shooters in the vicinity of National Prosecutions Authority and cabinet offices when state prosecutor Nsama Nsama and UPND’s Joseph Kaunda met their fate.

He said he was not sure that the two victims were killed at the same time by the same bullet.

This is in a matter where police officer Constable Phanwell Nyundu, 25, of Matero police camp is facing two counts of murder contrary to section 200 of the penal code chapter 87 of the Zambian laws.

It is alleged that the accused on December 23, 2020 murdered Nsama and Kaunda when himself and other police officers attempted to disperse UPND supporters.

The UPND supporters had gathered at force headquarters to offer solidarity to President Hakainde Hichilema, who was being interrogated over a farm he acquired in Kalomo district Southern Province many years ago.

During his examination-in-chief, Banda told the court that Nsama and Kaunda were killed by the same bullet which was discharged from an AK-47 riffle bearing serial no. EN2650.

Banda, who is an assistant superintendent at force headquarters under the forensic department, ballistics unit, told judge Joshua Banda that the bullet lodged in Kaunda’s head and smeared his brain after it exited Nsama’s body.

During cross-examination by Nyundu’s lawyer Willis Muhanga, Banda said he did not give the exact direction of the flight path during scene visit.

He said he assumed that the victims were in the same line at the time they were hit by the bullet besed on where Kaunda’s smeared brain tissue was found on the road because the latter’s corpse was not at the crime scene.

Banda indicated that it was not very important to know the specific point at which the shooting was done to ascertain the flight path in order to draw a conclusion.

Asked who picked Kaunda’s corpse from the scene, the ballistic expert said he does not know as it was not important to establish who tampered with the secondary crime scene and that it remained unknown to date.

Asked if the shooting was from different directions, Banda responded in the affirmative.

“It is possible that the source of fire could have come from several directions. No live ammunition was recovered from the scene,” Banda said.

Asked if there was an indiscriminate use of firearms, the witness refused to answer.

He confirmed that the cartridge casings were taken to him by crime scene officers, therefore, he would not know whether he was given the correct cartridge casings because he does not know how they were handled.

Asked about the muzzle velocity of the bullet, Band said it was 7 to 15 metres.

Asked how it was possible for the projectile to maintain a straight flying path after it exited Nsama’s body, Banda claimed that the projectile’s speed accelerates when it is discharged unlike when it is confined in the barrel.

Muhanga further asked Banda the reason he gave specific measurements of Nsama’s wounds in his report and not that of Kaunda, and the witness said he did not want to be redundant.

Banda confirmed that nothing was recovered at the secondary scene where Kaunda’s brain tissue was found.

Asked if he was given the DNA results to ascertain whether Nsama and Kaunda were killed by the same bullet, the witness denied.

He said the bullet was swabbed by the pathologist and the blood samples of the victims were taken for possible analysis.

Banda further stated that the DNA results were not important to him.

He further told the court that Nyundu was among the five police officers whose firearms were used during the shooting and that his fire arm matched with the cartridge casing EX4 from the exhibit AK-47 rifle of serial no. EN2650 which ejected the fatal bullet.

Banda added that the firearm was from the Lusaka Central squad.

Cross-examination continues on November 24.

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