Complainant refuses to withdraw contempt case against Tayali

By Staff Reporter

 

The Lusaka magistrates court yesterday heard that the complainant against Chilufya Tayali’s contempt case will neither withdraw nor resolve the matter out of court.

 

Tayali, the Economic and Equity Party leader yesterday sought an adjournment of the matter because he was not ready to proceed to trial as he was still exploring an out of court settlement in a case in which he is facing seven counts contempt of court and publishing defamatory matter.

 

But lawyers, Dr Henry Mbushi and Mulambo Haimbe, who are privately prosecuting Tayali told Lusaka magistrate Sylvia Munyinya that it was made clear to the accused that the complaint against him would not be withdrawn because their client Edward Sichali wants to see it to its logical conclusion.

 

Tayali was summoned last October to show cause why he should not be sent to prison for contempt of court for alleging that Sichali got money from opposition UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema to organise a protest that led to the death of a fourth year University of Zambia (UNZA) student.

Trial in the matter was expected to commence on Monday, but Tayali said he was not ready as he was exploring out of court settlement.

Haimbe had informed the court that he was ready to call three witnesses among them, the complainant Sichali.

But Tayali said he was not ready as he was still trying to settle the matter ex curia.

He said it was unfortunate that the complainant only communicated to him on Sunday around 19:21 hours that the matter would not be withdrawn.

However, Haimbe said he wanted to set the record straight by informing the court that Sichali would not discontinue the matter.

Following Haimbe’s confirmation of the position to the court, Tayali sought an adjournment of the matter in the interest of justice in order to engage a lawyer.

He hoped that an out of court settlement would be reached before trial commences.

And magistrate Munyinya gave Tayali a benefit of the doubt and adjourned the case to January 14 for trial.