Power and Politics

PF Faction Secretary-General, Nakacinda, seeks bail after spending one week in detention


Patriotic Front (PF) faction Secretary-General, Raphael Nakacinda, who has spent a week behind bars, has applied for bail pending the determination of his appeal against the 18-month jail sentence for defaming President Hakainde Hichilema.

Through his legal team, Nakacinda argued that the grounds of appeal raised significant questions of law that needed to be heard.

Nakacinda contended that the Lusaka Magistrates Court erred in finding that he did not legitimately criticize the President, raising important questions about the boundaries of free speech, particularly when it comes to criticizing political figures like the President.

Read more: Politicians cautioned to respect decisions of courts as PF Secretary-General jailed 18 months for defamation

He also argued that the conviction was against the weight of the evidence presented, highlighting concerns about the sufficiency and quality of evidence required to substantiate a defamation claim against a high-profile figure like the President.

“This requires the appellate court to delve into the jurisprudence surrounding defamation laws, particularly how these laws intersect with the rights to free speech and political discourse,” he argued.

Magistrate Irene Wishimanga ruled that Nakacinda had published defamatory words about the President without verifying the information.

Nakacinda was found guilty of making defamatory remarks on December 13, 2021, at the Lusaka High Court, where he alleged that President Hichilema had summoned judges to his private residence, intimidating and coercing them.

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