CHIEF Mukuni of Southern Province yesterday took to the dock and denied allegations by Economic and Equity Party (EEP) president Chilufya Tayali that he was behind the gassing incidents of 2019-2020.
But the traditional leader told Lusaka Magistrate Silvia Munyinya that he is living in fear of being attacked by relatives of people who were killed during the gassing incidents because of the allegations levelled against him by Mr Tayali.
The traditional leader said he was shocked that Mr Tayakli, in a live Facebook video, accused him of being among the masterminds behind the country’s gassing incidents.
Chief Mukuni was testifying against Tayali in a case the politician is charged with harassment using means of electronic communication, an offence in section 69 of the Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Acts number 2 of 2021 of the Laws of Zambia.
On November 10, 2022, Tayali, while acting with other unknown persons and with intent to harass and cause emotional distress by use of a computer system, allegedly went live on his Facebook page dubbed EEP president Chilufya Tayali.
Through the online social media platform, the accused issued a statement against Chief Mukuni saying:
“Chief Mukuni was the brain child behind the gassing crimes that characterised the country between 2019 and 2020 for the purpose of getting Hakainde out of prison”.
During trial, Chief Mukuni said on the material day, he was browsing through social media when he came across a clip in which the EEP leader , on his Facebook page, was accusing him of being behind the gassing crimes.
“He said some traditional leaders were involved in the staging of gassing and he mentioned my name. He said ask ‘Chief Mukuni, as Chief Mukuni. He said we staged the gassing saga with a view to get Mr [Hakainde] Hichilema released from prison,” Chief Mukumi narrated.
He complained that the allegations left him mentally stressed.
“I was living in fear of being attacked by relatives of victims who died during gassing. My safety was compromised, knowing that, normally, perceptions carry more weight than the facts. People may believe that I was behind the loss of lives,” the chief said.
He said: “It wasn’t true that I was involved”.
In cross examination, defence lawyer Benjamin Mwelwa asked if in the clip, Tayali made reference to him as Chief Munokalya Siloka Mukuni or just Chief Mukuni.
The chief said the accused mentioned his title.
(Mwebantu, Tuesday, 13th June, 2023)
President Hichilema to continue living at Community House, as Concourt dismisses petition against his stay at the private house
THE Constitutional Court has dismissed for lack of a merit Patriots for Economic Progress president Sean Tembo’s petition challenging President Hakainde Hichilema’s continued stay at his private house instead of shifting to State House.
This means that the President will continue staying at his private Community House in New Ksama.
Passing judgment, Constitutional Court deputy judge president Arnold Shilimi said the court found Mr Tembo’s petition to have lacked merit because the constitution does not compel the President to move to Nkwazi House.
Further, the judge said the court found that Mr Tembo’s plea for the court to declare an order compelling the President to shift to State House is not tenable considering that no law that obliges the Head of State to reside at State House.
“We find that in the absence of any Constitutional provision or any other law that compels the President to reside at State House,and in light of the Respondent’s[Attorney General] submission on the dilapidated state of Nkwazi House requiring high cost of renovations.
“The alleged constitutional breaches relating to the President’s alleged refusal to shift to State House lacks merit and is misconceived,” Judge Shilima said on behalf of other judges who heard the case.
“We find that the alleged breach relating to the right to life is improperly before this court for want of jurisdiction over part iii of the constitution,” he added.
The court consequently dismissed the petition for lack of merit.
In this matter, Mr Tembo petitioned the Constitutional Court over President Hichilema’s refusal to relocate to State House since he was elected in August, 2021.
The politician had submitted that the President was spending huge sums of money through his trips from Community House to State House on a daily basis and putting at risk the safety of many Zambians on the route he is using to access his house.
He further argued that the huge sums of money which was being used on a daily basis, about K126 million per year, could be channeled to other areas of need such as procurement of drugs in hospitals and books for readers in schools.
However, in reply, the State, through Attorney General Mulilo Kabesha, argued that the petition lacked merit because Mr Tembo did not cite the particular article or law which mandates the president actually reside at State House.
He also argued that accommodation of the past Presidents at State House was only a matter of practice or custom and not law.
(Mwebantu, Saturday, 9th December, 2023)
Masturbation comment invites Sean Tembo to court
PATRIOTS for Economic Progress president Sean Tembo has pleaded not guilty to using insulting language when he compared the intervention to sale cheaper ZNS mealie meal in the wake of escalating prices of the commodity prices to masturbation.
The outspoken businessman has been charged with use of insulting language which he allegedly uttered on October 17 this year, the eve of National Day of Prayer, Fasting, Repentance and Reconciliation.
Allegations are that on the material day, the accused said “Bally is selling a few bags of ZNS mealie meal using Shoprite, hoping to create a perception of low price is equal to masturbation”.
The sentiments are alleged to likely provoke Abel Mashowo, who reported the case, to break the law or commit any offence against Tembo.
When the case was called today, a magistrate readout the charged and asked the accused whether he understood it.
In response, Mr Tembo responded in the affirmative and pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The court adjourned the case was adjourned to next month for commencement of trial.
(Mwebantu, Friday, 8th December, 2023)
DPP wants more punishment for CK
THE State, through the Director of Public Prosecutions, Gilbert Phiri, has filed a notice to appeal against the five months sentence imposed of Chishimba Kambwili after he was found guilty of promoting hate speech by uttering tribal remarks.
On Thursday, Mr Kambwili, a Patriotic Front member of the central committee, was sentenced to five months imprisonment with hard labour.
This was after the Kasama Magistrate’s Court found him guilty of the offence of expressing or showing hatred, ridicule, or contempt for persons because of tribe or place of origin.
After being hailed, the politician appealed against the verdict and was later released on bail pending hearing of his appeal against the sentence.
But the DPP has filed a cross appeal seeking to challenge the five months jail term imposed on the outspoken former Roan MP.
Mr Phiri feels the sentence was too lenient and that when his application is being heard, he wants to be present in court..
“I, the above named appellant(DPP) , hereby give notice that I desire to appeal to the High Court against the sentence of the accused person.
I desire to be present when the court considers the appeal,” the notice of appeal, which has been circulated online, reads in part.
(Mwebantu, Thursday, 7th December, 2023)