PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu’s former Special Assistant for Political Affairs Kaizer Zulu appeared at the Lusaka High Court yesterday in a matter in which two soldiers have asked the Court to cite him for contempt of court for commenting on a case where they are accused of conspiring to murder him.
Zulu could, however, not answer to the contempt of court allegations as the matter has been adjourned to March 31, this year, after his lawyers indicated to the Court that they were only given instructions on Monday evening.
Steven Phiri and Steven Chiiba Chooka are alleged to have between July 30, 2017, and August 8, 2017 in Lusaka, jointly and whilst acting together with other persons unknown conspired to murder Zulu.
The two asked the Court to cite Zulu for contempt of court for commenting on the said matter, which is still active before court.
In their summons for leave to apply for an order of committal for contempt of court, Phiri and Chooka stated that on November 27, last year, Zulu made utterances and used speech that was in breach of the rules of the Court when he featured on a Diamond TV Programme dubbed: “Costa.”
They added that the said programme was broadcast to the general public across the nation from about 21:00 hours and that during the programme, the alleged contemnor (Zulu) made remarks that were subjudice and prejudicial to the proceedings before court.
“In response to a question as to whether he had ever fired a gun to protect himself, the alleged contemnor responded in the affirmative. The alleged contemnor was quoted saying: ‘there are the two military officers who the police actually arrested. They actually drove to my house. They had two targets, myself and former president Rupiah Banda. Was it necessary for me to fire with these trained marksmen or to let me die’?” Phiri and Chooka stated.
They stated that Zulu further alleged that his life was under threat.
Phiri and Chooka argued that the words uttered by Zulu were aimed at portraying them as being guilty of a crime in the eyes of the general public, including in the eyes of potential witnesses that were yet to give evidence before court, be it for the prosecution or for the defence.
They stated that some of the witnesses that they could have called in their defence in the event that they were found with a case to answer by the Court had expressed skepticism about doing so following utterances made by Zulu during the programme.
Phiri and Chooka added that Zulu’s utterances were contemptuous of the Court and the proceedings.
They stated that the rules of court prohibit any person from making any utterances relating to the matters pending determination in such a way as to be prejudicial to their interests and the course of justice.
“The words were calculated to interfere with the course of justice or to prejudice the course of justice in so far as the alleged contemnor set out to make allegations of fact as to what the accused persons are alleged to have or not have done in relation to the charge of conspiracy to murder, which is pending determination before this honourable Court. The relief sought is for an order that Kaizer Zulu be committed to prison for contempt of court having regard to the foregoing,” Phiri and Chooka stated.
When the matter came up in chambers before High Court Judge Mwamba Chanda, Tuesday, Zulu’s lawyers Dickson Jere and Sakwiba Sikota indicated to the Court that they were only given instructions late, Monday evening, and asked for more time.
Zulu’s lawyers said they were not adequately prepared as they came across the substituted service in the Zambia Daily Mail newspaper on the same evening.
The applicant’s lawyer Zevyanji Sinkala did not object to the adjournment in the interest of justice.
Judge Chanda adjourned the matter to March 31, this year.
Zulu was accompanied by PF cadre Chanoda Ngwira, among several others.