A WITNESS has told the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court that he was merely following instructions when he seized Chilufya Tayali’s phone and handed it over to the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) for further investigations.

This is a matter in which Tayali is charged with defamation of former president Edgar Lungu.

Particulars of the offence allege that Tayali, 47, between May 2 and 5, 2021 in Lusaka, with intent to bring the name of the president into hatred, ridicule or contempt published a video clip in which he said that: “the republican president Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu is funding and protecting Innocent Kalimanshi who is the personification of hooliganism, violence and anarchy in the nation”.

Tayali pleaded not guilty to the offence.

When the matter came up for commencement of trial before Magistrate Alice Walusiku, Tuesday, Detective Chief Inspector Oscar Sikazwe, 47, narrated that while on duty at police headquarters on May 6, 2021, he was assigned to seize a mobile from Tayali, who is the accused person in the matter.

Sikazwe told the court that he found Tayali at his office, got the phone and also signed a seizure notice for a Nokia phone.

He testified that he then delivered a letter from the fraud unit and the phone to ZICTA the following day and it was taken back by a technologist from ZICTA the same day.

Sikazwe said he then handed over the report from ZICTA to the arresting officer.

In cross examination, Tayali who was representing himself asked the witness whether he knew why he was seizing the phone.

The witness responded in the negative but said that it was procedure to seize a phone because it was common practice when a case was being investigated.

The matter has since been adjourned to November 18, 2021 for continuation of trial.