Witness tells court how Chief Mukuni suffered emotional trauma over allegations made by Tayali


The Lusaka magistrate court has heard how Chief Monokalia Mukuni of the Toka Leya people of Livingstone suffered emotional distress by the remarks made by EEP President, Chilufya Tayali, on his Facebook page.

The EEP leader had accused the traditional leader of being behind the gassing which happened across the country between 2019 and 2022.

Chief investigations officer on Wednesday told the court that Mukuni reported to him that he was emotionally distressed by the remarks made by Tayali.

Steve Chongo currently based at Serenje police station testified before magistrate Sylvia Munyinya that on November 14, 2022, while on duty at Zambia Police Force Headquarters was assigned with an inquiry file to investigate the alleged crime of harassment utilizing means of electronic communication contrary to section 69 Act 2 of 2019 of the Cyber Security and Crimes Act.

Chongo told the court that Mukuni was accused of having coordinated and funded the gassing crimes.

Chongo was testifying in a matter Tayali was dragged to court for alleging that Chief Mukuni was the brainchild of gassing which characterized the country between 2019 and 2022.

“Acting on the inquiry, I copied the link from the Facebook page for Tayali and submitted it to our forensic department for forensic analysis, extraction and preservation.

“This was worked on by Bernard Fundi, who confirmed that the video was active and valid on the internet. I was familiar with Tayali for over two years because he is a public figure I have been following on Facebook where he appears,” he said.

Chongo said he also went to Golden Peacock where the accused alleged that Mukuni was staying during the period President Hakainde Hichilema was in incarcerated.

“I talked to the deputy hotel manager Quinn Gong, she confirmed that Chief Mukuni is their client. She confirmed that during 2017, Chief Mukuni lodged at their hotel in January, March and October. I came to realize that Chief Mukuni never lodged there during the period the Head of State was in prison between April 11 to August 27, 2017,” he said.

He said the first case of gassing was in 2019 in December and investigations proved that there was no gassing in 2017.

“I extended my investigations to Kabwata Police Station where the accused alleged in the video that he was arrested together with a team of security men, ex-commandos at Kabwata in April 2017.

“My findings were that Tayali was arrested for a different charge, libel while the security men he alleged were also detained for a different charge of obstruction of police,” he testified.

Chongo said further investigations from the House of Chiefs showed that there was only one Chief Mukuni Munokalya Siloka.

“I came to look at the evidence I had gathered, I was convinced the utterances made against Chief Mukuni caused emotional distress because they were not true. I came to officially charge and arrest the accused person for the subject offence,” he said.

It was alleged that Tayali on November 10, 2022 in Lusaka, jointly and whilst acting together with other persons unknown, with intent to harass and cause emotional distress to Chief Mukuni, used a computer system while live on his Facebook page dubbed EEP president Chilufya Tayali, an online Social Media Platform to issue a statement saying among other things that:

“People talk about gassing, gassing; Ba Hakainde Hichilema you know about gassing; do you hear Hakainde Hichilema talk about some of these sabotages which were going on? Traditional leaders were involved in those things;

“I know persons here and there; ask Chief Mukuni you know better; Chief Mukuni was not sleeping; he was sleeping at Golden Peacock; that is where he was staying and things were happening all over the country; while you were inside. What I have told you today is the truth and you can arrest me for it; Chief Mukuni knows even what I am talking about.”

Trial continues on February 20, 2024.

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