A Ndola man who was charged with defamation of the President has been jailed for one year with hard labour by the Magistrate Court.
Edward Zyambo, 35, was charged with defamation of President Edgar Lungu but he denied the offence.
Particulars of the offence are that Zyambo on 20th October, 2020 at Ndola with intent to bring the President into hatred, ridicule or contempt, did utter defamatory words in which he said, “Lungu Chi***a Chakwe, Lungu Chi***a Chawishi”
.However, when the matter came up for defence, Zyambo told court that on October 20, 2020 while going home in the night, he found about 10 Somalians on a foot path in Twapia.
He told court that when passing through the footpath after having disembarked a bus, the Somalians grabbed him in the trousers and started exchanging insults with him.
“I told them that you Somalians are stupid and will go back to Somalia. I also told them that they were the ones attacking innocent people as they liked to stand many in footpaths,” he said.”They said Chi***a Zambian, you just live in Zambia, but we are the owners of the money in this country.”
The state then repeated to Zyambo what he allegedly uttered that “Chi***a Chakwe, Lungu Chi***a Chawiso. But Zyambo told court that the only ones he heard uttering the words were the Patriotic Front cadres as they gave a statement to police after he was taken into custody.
When asked if he was referring to President Lungu, Zyambo said there are a lot of Lungus in the country.
And when the matter came up for judgement, Ndola Principal Magistrate Obbister Musukwa convicted Zyambo after the state proved its case against him.
“While it is true that men in public offices should be thin skinned with respect to the comment made in the discharge of their official functions, their reputation and their honour, especially the President, which brings them into hatred, ridicule and contempt, offends the law.
From the circumstances of this case, I am satisfied that the accused person had the intent to bring the president into hatred ridicule and contempt by action,” Magistrate Musukwa said. Magistrate Musukwa then sentenced Zyambo to one year imprisonment with hard labour.
Earlier in mitigation, Zyambo said he was a youth and promised to be an advocate of good behavior.