Komboni Radio director Lesa Kasoma has told the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court that she was brutally beaten by police officers last October after they blocked her from accessing the radio station despite the lifting of its broadcasting license suspension.
And Lesa, who is in this case charged with assault on police, admitted biting constable Simon Chisanga on the arm but said it was in self-defence.
Opening defence yesterday, Kasoma, Muvi TV proprietor Steven Nyirenda’s wife, told Lusaka magistrate Felix Kaoma that her decision to bite the officer was a desperate move because officers inflicted a lot of pain on her.
“I bit him on the arm in an attempt to repel. I wanted him to stop exerting pain on my fingers and I bit him on the thick jersey he was wearing so the bite wasn’t even that deep, I just want him to let go of me,” Lesa narrated.
She testified that officers continued to beat and kick her and in the process tore her blouse.
Kasoma told the court that on the material day, she had received a letter from the Independent Broadcasting Authority which indicated that the suspension of the broadcasting license for Komboni radio had been lifted with immediate effect.
She further testified that drove to the radio station around 18:00 hours but that to her shock, she found police officers still manning the premises.
She said police officers ignored the letter and that when she tried to get pictures of them they descended on her and beat her ruthlessly to a point where she could not walk or sit upright.
“I took pictures in order to show Mr [Eustas] Nkandu from IBA because when I told him that police officers expressed ignorance about the lifting of the suspension he didn’t believe me so I wanted to send him pictures as proof but the officers grabbed me and started beating me,” said Lesa.
Police brutality on Kasoma was widely condemned by the public forcing Vice-President Inonge Wina to render an apology in Parliament.
Defence in the matter continues.