THE Ndola Magistrates’ Court has granted Chellah Tukuta a K5,000 bail in his own recognisance.
Tukuta has been in police cells for 10 days.
And his lawyer Chimuka Magubbwi has complained to Ndola Magistrate Misozi Banda that it has now become fashionable for the police to over hold suspects facing misdemeanor charges.
In this matter, Tukuta, 34, four counts of offences, one of which is triable by the High Court.
In count one, Tukuta is is charged with publishing defamatory matter concerning Kalifu Abudulah.
It is alleged that on May 26, Tukuta did published defamatory matter concerning Khalif on Facebook in which he said “Khalif your time to leave Zambia has come you chi criminal”.
In count two, he is charged with publishing defamatory matter concerning Khalif.
It is alleged that on June 9, Chellah did publish defamatory matter concerning Khalif Abudulah in form of a Facebook post in which he said “Khalif and Langiwe Lungu director at ERB stop arm twisting the Government over fuel, you are the reason fuel is still expensive when it is supposed to be cheap. Thieves!”
In count three, he is charged with threatening violence.
It is alleged that on 12 June, Tukuta threatened violence to the property of Khalif motors Zambia Limited in which he said “Khalif if you don’t leave Zambia, we shall burn your trucks”.
In count four, Tukuta is charged with expressing or showing hatred for persons because of their place of origin.
It is alleged that on May 26 this year, Tukuta published a writing on his Facebook page expressing or showing hatred, ridicule, contempt for Khalif because of his place of origin.
When the matter came up for plea before Ndola Magistrate Misozi Banda, Tukuta pleaded not guilty to the three counts.
His lawyer Chimuka Magubbwi applied for bail pending trial.
“At this stage, we have an application to make before this court. These counts are all misdemeanor which are bondable or bailable. But it has become quite fashionable for the police to over hold suspects on misdemeanor charges. The law demands that the person be brought to court. The police need to get guidance from the court to bond persons on misdemeanors. I apply for bail in all the four counts including the one pending instructions, they are all bailable offences,” Magubbwi said.
Magistrate Banda then granted Tukuta a K5,000 bail in his own recognisance with two working Ndola-based sureties bound in the like sum.
Magistrate Banda has adjourned the matter to July 10 for mention and 15 for trial.
Police, however, rearrested Tukuta shortly after he met bail conditions.
He was taken to Ndola Central Police Station enroute to Lusaka where he will face more charges.
In a Facebook post during his short-lived freedom, Tukuta vowed to continue speaking saying fear is not his portion.