A 45-year-old Lusaka man has denied defaming PF deputy secretary general Mumbi Phiri by insinuating that she sacrificed her son to become a big political figure.

In this matter, Asher Hakantu is accused of posting defamatory words against Mumbi in a WhatsApp group called “We need a better Zambia” on unknown dates but between May 6, 2017 and May 8, 2017 in Lusaka.

“With intent to defame Mumbi Phiri, unlawfully did publish a defamatory matter concerning the said person on a WhatsApp bloc namely ‘We need a better Zambia’, to which you wrote, ‘Are you sure she didn’t sacrifice the innocent boy for her to come into a political limelight, who knew this finished scrap cargo before she lost her son in Kawambwa School accident. Apusa maningi Mumbi Phiri’,” read the indictment.

When the matter came up before magistrate Nchimunya Simaubi yesterday, he warned against excitement in his court by the police over the political case.

He observed that there were a lot of political cases going on and he expected everyone to act with decorum.

His remarks come in the wake of unprecedented security at the Magistrates’ Court whenever UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema is appearing.
After Hakantu denied the charge, his lawyers Christopher Mundia and Robin Musoni applied for bail.

Mundia complained about police conduct saying it was unacceptable that they refused to grant the accused bond despite the offense being a misdemeanor.

He said it was also difficult to have access to his client who had been in custody since June 20 as police imposed various conditions and unreasonable time frame in which to meet his client.

In response, Magistrate Simaubi said if the complaint was true then the police acted unreasonably as it was a violation of the rights of the suspect.
He said the Constitution was clear as to how a suspect should be treated.

Magistrate Simaubi then granted Hakantu K3,000 bail in his own recognizance with two working sureties bound at K3,000 in their own recognizance.

The matter comes up on July 13 for mention.