A 39-year-old public prosecutor under the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) has narrated to the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court how she was allegedly humiliated and called a prostitute by a 49-year-old senior prosecutor after ending their short affair.
Chipo Gura of Mandevu, told the court that although she didn’t want the matter publicized, it was best that justice takes its course because she had once forgiven Richard Nyeleti, but he had proved to be unapologetic.
In this matter, it is alleged that Richard Nyeleti, on September 17, 2018 in Lusaka, did use insulting language to Chipo Gura to which he did said ‘iwe chihule, ninakuchinda chinini chako (you prostitute I had sex with you) in a manner likely to give such a provocation to the said Chipo Gura so as to cause such a person to break peace or to commit an offence.
And when the matter came up before magistrate Thandose Chabala for commencement of trial, Monday, Nyeleti through his lawyer made an application to reconcile with the complainant.
“The defence has an application to make. We feel this matter is one that the court can exercise it’s discretion to allow the for the parties to reconcile,” his lawyer said.
However, the State objected to the application saying the complainant wanted to proceed with the matter.
“Defence counsel approached me with that request which has been turned into an application. [However], the complainant’s position is that she wishes to proceed,” he said.
Magistrate Chabala then guided that she would proceed to hear the matter since the complainant was ready to proceed.
And when the complainant, Chipo was called to the stand to testify, she narrated that when she reported for work at NPA on September 17, she met the accused in the company of another prosecutor.
She said after bypassing the two, the accused started throwing insults at her and accused her of being a prostitute, further charging that he had sex with her.
“On September 17, 2018, I reported for work at NPA and logged in at 7:30 hours. I went to the office and I went to see my colleague to check whether he had collected the docket. From there, I walked out of the NPA building at Lusaka Independence Avenue. As I was walking down the stair case, I met the now accused, Mr Nyeleti who is a public prosecutor together with Mr Simusa of the same rank,” she narrated.
“As I bypassed them, Mr Simusa greeted me and I responded accordingly. As I stepped down the stair case, I heard Mr Nyeleti saying in nyanja ‘muzafeluka Ku ZIALE kwamene mu yenda (you will fail at ZIALE where you are going)’. I ignored that. However, he reaffirmed the statement even louder. This time I looked back and said to him in nyanja that ‘ba Nyeleti ndimwe bantu bakulu (Mr Nyeleti, you are an old man)’. At that point, Mr Nyeleti began to throw insults at me in nyanja that “iwe ule iwe ninakuchinda chinyo chako (you prostitute, I had sex with you.”
Chipo said she couldn’t respond to the insults then because she was afraid of attracting attention.
She disclosed that at that point, she had felt humiliated and demeaned but decided to walk away in shame.
“I could not contain that and I couldn’t respond either because I knew it would attract attention that was unnecessary as at that particular time people were reporting for work. I felt demeaned, degraded, humiliated and at some point I thought that I should respond but I pulled myself together and decided to walk away. Your honour, I walked away in shame. I decided to report the matter to police force headquarters,” Chipo said.
She disclosed that she was once in a short relationship with the accused last year but had decided to call it off after realizing that it was wrong.
Chipo said when she talked to him, the accused told her that he was going to embarrass her.
“In May 2017, I had a short relationship with the accused which I called off because I knew it was wrong and totally disadvantaged me. I talked to him, I thought I was talking to a mature person, and his response he said he was going to embarrass me and tell everybody at work that he had sexual encounter with me. Prior to that, he did that via our WhatsApp NPA group and further to that, I have contained several insults to try to resolve this through management in a confidential manner but it failed,” she said.
Chipo said even though she didn’t want the matter to be publicized, it was better that the law took it’s course.
“On Friday when we had a tribunal, he told me that he was going to invite journalists and this he has always stated in an attempt to embarrass me. Today I was approached by counsel representing the accused that we reconcile and take into account what has happened and the conduct that the accused had displayed so far. He has been unremorseful. Even though I didn’t want it to be highly publicized, it’s better then law takes its course so that other people can learn from it. The accused before you is a prosecutor and he should be the last person to behave in the manner he has behaved and he has continued to behave,” she said.
Chipo said she had once forgiven the accused but he had proved to be unrepentant.
“I once forgave him and that was before September 17 recurrence. And that just goes to show how ungrateful, unremorseful the accused before you is. Your worship I have BP which is very much known to the accused and at that point your honour I felt unwell. I had a terrible headache and had to increase on my dosage which I normally carry. I just had to pull myself together otherwise I had a strong urge to reiterate. I’m just hoping that journalists will look at this as any other GBV case and help to fight GBV,” said Chipo.
The matter has been adjourned to October 23, 11:30 hours, for continuation of trial.