WITH his conviction being a kick in the teeth for assaulting a police officer, Economic and Equity party leader Chilufya Tayali says he still respects the decision of the Magistrates’ Court.
He said though the condemnation was not fair, God knows that he was not violent against the officer but he would not fault the Court for convicting him.
Tayali was yesterday fined a K20, 000 as penalty for assaulting a law enforcement officer after he was found at fault for mismanaging his anger.
The EEP leader was ordered to pay the money before close of business or exchange his favorite yellow T-shirt with the orange suit and serve a sentence of nine months upon defaulting on payment.
Last year the opposition leader was charged with one count of assault on a police officer.
It is alleged that Tayali attacked constable Melody Malama whilst he was in detention at Chilenje police station for asking his wife Tsega to taste the food she took for him.
As per procedure a person who takes food for detainees to their holding cells is requested to taste the meal to rule out suspicions of poisoning.
It was reported that Tayali was incensed by the officer’s conduct wondering why she would suspect his loving wife of harboring evil plans to end his life, and hit Malama with a flask which contained his tea during the altercation.
In her judgement magistrate Idah Phiri found Tayali guilty for assault and convicted him.
She said Tayali’s behavior was reckless as he had an option to control his temper.
In mitigation Tayali asked the Court to be lenient on him as he was a first offender and family man whose incarceration would heavily affect his family.
In handing down her sentence magistrate Phiri said though the offense is a misdemeanor it attracted a maximum sentence of five years.
She said Tayali ought to be punished as his conduct was likely to lower the dignity of the police.
“Your reaction was not justified I will exercise leniency and I therefore fine you K20, 000 in default 9 months imprisonment don’t repeat what you did,” said magistrate Phiri.
Upon depositing a K20, 000 in accounts of the judiciary Tayali indicated that he would not politicizes the case as adjudicators make decisions based on the evidence that they are presented with.
“Am grateful to the Justice system. These magistrates and judges are just brought, so most of the times we make a mistake to drag them into politics. I was accused to have assaulted a police officer but the magistrate in her own wisdom with the evidence that she was looking at thought I was guilty and I was fined K20, 000 which I have managed to pay,” he said.
“From my point of view the conviction is not fair because I never assaulted a police officer, God knows I never assaulted a police officer but am not going to attack or criticize the judgement. I respect police officers, it is quite unfortunate that it has gone this way.”
He said politicians need to be courteous towards adjudicators and not to drag them in their mess.
“I made up my mind when I was coming that even if I was going to go into prison I was not going to appeal I said that I even made it clear to my lawyers that if am convicted am not going to appeal,”said Tayali.
“The message I want to take is that we need to respect our judges and not to drag them into politics even if we do not agree with the judgement. I do not agree with the judgement system but I will not drag the judges into politics.”
By Mwaka Ndawa
Kalemba February 1, 2024.