THE Director of Public Prosecution has not yet issued consent to prosecute a case in which photographer Chellah Tukuka is charged with criminal libel.
When the matter came up, Wednesday, the state informed court that they were still waiting for consent from the DPP.
In this matter, Chellah, 34, appeared for a mention before Ndola Magistrate Misozi Banda.
He is charged with three counts at the magistrates’ court and one count which needs consent from the DPP to proceed to trial.
In count one, Chellah is is charged with publishing defamatory matter concerning Kalifu Abudulah.
It is alleged that on May 26, Chellah 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 suppose to be cheap. Thieves!”
In count three, he is charged with threatening violence.
It is alleged that on Juneb12, Chellah 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, Chellah is charged with expressing or showing hatred for persons because of place of origin.
It is alleged that on May 26 this year, Chellah, on his Facebook page, expressed or showed hatred, ridicule, contempt for Khalif because of his place of origin.
When the matter came up for possible trial before Senior Resident Magistrate Peggy Banda, the state informed court that they are still waiting for consent from the DPP.
But when Magistrate Banda asked the state why they could not proceed with the other three counts which d not require consent from the DPP, advocate Innocent Kamunga said some witnesses were relevant to all four counts.
However, Chellah’s lawyer Ngoze Nyangu argued that justice delayed was justice denied.
“We have an objection to this application. It is a well settled principal that justice delayed is justice denied, and that the state had enough time. The court should notice that the accused is coming from outside and has to travel to attend to this matter. It is unfair on the part of the accused to travel and again travel on a matter that is not showing any sign of progress,” said Nyangu.
But Magistrate Banda said the issue of delayed justice did not stand as this was the first time the matter was coming up for trial.
Magistrate Banda then adjourned the matter to August 14 for mention and September 1 for trial.