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


Lusaka Magistrate, Irene Wishimanga, has cautioned politicians to respect the decisions of the courts.

This statement was made when Raphael Nakacinda, the Secretary-General of the Patriotic Front faction, was sentenced to 18 months in prison with hard labour for defaming President Hakainde Hichilema.

Read more: Police detain Edgar Lungu-led PF Secretary-General, Nakacinda, at Kabwata station

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.

In her judgment, Wishimanga determined that Nakacinda had published defamatory words about the President without verifying the information.

“After considering all the evidence, I find that the accused was present at the High Court and did publish the words and footage in question. Although the accused claimed he was acting in the interest of democracy, he failed to verify the information before publishing it and had no evidence to support his claims,” she said.

In mitigation, Nakacinda, 47, through his lawyer, Makebi Zulu pleaded for a suspended sentence in accordance with Section 116(1) and considering that talking was a hazard of the trade in politics.

Magistrate Wishimanga, however, said the convict’s statement was a direct assault on the judiciary.

She added: “Politicians have a tendency to deride judges and Magistrate when they pass a decision against them without exercising their mind to the decision made in the matter before court and not the executive. Our judiciary is an arm of the government that is supposed to be respected by everyone and that it makes decisions that are independent of organ of government,”.

She proceeded to sentence Nakacinda to 18 months imprisonment with hard labour.

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