FORMER rasta Raphael Nakacinda has breathed a sigh of relief as the State has dropped a charge on the repealed law of defamation of the president against him.
The state has discontinued the case by way of nolle prosequi, pursuant to Section 88(a) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).
In this matter Nakacinda was facing two counts of defamation of the president and expressing hatred and showing contempt for persons because of tribe, origin of color, place and race before the Magistrate’s Court.
It is alleged that Nakacinda on April 18, 2022 with intent to bring the name of the President into ridicule or contempt published defamatory matter when he belittled the President for questioning the source of Bowman Lusambo’s income.
In the second count it is alleged that Nakacinda on the same date expressed hatred for against Tongas when he admonished them for selecting their tribemate from Bweengwa in Southern province whom he labelled ‘ignorant’ to lead the country.
Before Nakacinda could take plea, State prosecutor Micheal Nundwe told magistrate Idah Phiri that the State had decided to withdraw the case of defamation of the president pursuant to section 88(a) of the CPC.
Nundwe indicated that the charge relating to hate speech will be maintained.
Following the State’s decision to drop the charge magistrate Phiri discharged the PF chairperson for information and publicity.
However Nakacinda denied expressing hatred towards his fellow Tongas.
Magistrate Phiri adjourned the matter to June 22 for commencement of trial.
Speaking after his Court appearance Nakacinda said he was delighted that the State had come to realise that the charge of defamation of the president was no longer in existence.
“I am happy that it has dawned on the State that there’s no defamation of the president. I don’t know how then we can qualify suggesting that talking about my relatives amounts to hate speech. But that we’ll leave it to the Court since the matter is now taking off,” said Nakacinda.
By Mwaka Ndawa
Kalemba May 5, 2023.