LUSAKA-based photographer Cornelius Chella Tukuta has appeared before the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court and denied issuing defamatory remarks against Information and Broadcasting Minister Dora Siliya and Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) Commissioner-General Kingsley Chanda.

Tukuta, 34, has been charged with two counts of libel in connection with some alleged defamatory remarks he posted on his social media page against Siliya and Chanda.

In count one, it is alleged that Tukuta on May 26, this year in Lusaka, published defamatory matter affecting Dora Siliya in the form of a video on Facebook that: “Dora Siliya is a pimp, she hooks up girls for high-profile people like ministers and permanent secretaries.

In the second count, it is alleged that on May 2, this year in Lusaka, Tukuta published defamatory matter affecting Kingsley Chanda in the form of a video on Facebook to the effect that: “Kingsley Chanda was taking pecuniary advantage of his position at the Zambia Revenue Authority by arm-twisting various businesses to give his companies Ciltax and Nishati business.”

When the matter came up for plea before Lusaka Chief Resident Magistrate Lameck Mwale, Tukuta, who was represented by lawyer Meamande Wamukwamba, said he understood the charges after they were read to him.

He then took a plea of not guilty.

Magistrate Mwale adjourned the case to August 25 and 31, this year, for trial.

Tukuta, who is on police bond, is also facing other charges before the Ndola Magistrates’ Court.