United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema yesterday asked the a Lusaka Magistrate’s Court not to award any damages to him after
the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mutembo Nchito entered a nolle prosequi in the matter which was scheduled to commence trial yesterday.
Mr Hichilema has advised the State to channel the said damages towards poverty alleviation programmes.
Speaking in an interview, Mr Hichilema said costs for damages were paid from tax payers’ money who were not part of the State’s mistake to arrest him and wondered why he should accept the said damages without any conscious.
Resident Magistrate Boniface Mwiinga discharged discharged Mr Hichilema in a matter in which he was facing an offence of defaming the Republican President.
Magistrate Mwiinga in his ruling said the DPP’s decision to enter a nolle prosequi in the matter was trite Law which could not be challenged but to set the accused person free adding that the State was at liberty to re-arrest him because the court had not acquitted him.
“This matter is closed for now following the DPP’s decision to enter a nolle prosequi under section 81 and 82 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the accused is set free, he is at liberty but be reminded that a discharge is not an acquittal,” he said.
This was in a case in which Hichilema was charged with one count of defamation of President Michael Sata contrary to the Laws of Zambia.
Particulars allege that Hichilema, on January 13, this year, with intent to bring the President into hatred, ridicule and contempt, did publish a defamatory statement which was covered in the Daily Nation of January 14 this year.
Divisional Prosecutions Officer Desmond Mwanza called the matter and informed the court that the State was ready to proceed with trial but had an application to make before the matter could proceed.
“Your honour the accused person is present in court today, and the State is ready to proceed with trial but we want to inform the court that the State has received instructions from the DPP’s chambers to enter a nolle prosequi in the matter,” Mr Mwanza said.