The Lusaka Magistrate Court has dismissed an application for a bench warrant against Inspector General of Police, Graphel Musamba, in a defamation case brought by Socialist Party leader, Fred M’Membe.
Magistrate Chrispine Hampungani ruled that this was the first time Mr. Musamba had failed to appear in court over the matter and therefore should be accorded leniency. The application for the bench warrant had been filed by Dr. M’Membe’s legal representative.
The defamation case revolves around allegations made by Dr. M’Membe, who claimed that Mr. Musamba defamed him by accusing him of inciting anarchy and breaching the peace in Zambia. These allegations were purportedly made during a press briefing held on August 8, 2023.
Dr. M’Membe asserts that the words spoken by Mr. Musamba were defamatory in nature, leading to the legal action taken against the Inspector General of Police.
In a separate legal development, former Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) Commissioner General, Kingsley Chanda, and former ZRA Director of Administration, Callitus Kaoma, have pleaded not guilty to charges of Abuse of Authority of Office.
This plea came during their appearance before Lusaka Principal Magistrate Sylvia Munyinya. Both Mr. Chanda and Mr. Kaoma were arrested in June and charged with Abuse of Authority of Office. The charges stem from allegations of their willful failure to comply with the law and procedure in the disposal of 22 disused ZRA vehicles between January 2017 and December 2020.