The Lusaka Magistrate court yesterday found Patriotic Front (PF) member Raphael Nakacinda with a case to answer in a matter he is charged with defamation of the President.

Lusaka Senior Magistrate, Ireen Washimanga said in her ruling that the State had established a prima facie case against Nakacinda to warrant her to place him on this defence.

Nakacinda is charged with one count of defamation of the President, a charge he denied.

It is alleged that Nakacinda with intent to bring the name of the President into ridicule and contempt, issued defamatory remarks on December 13, 2021, accusing the Head of State of intimidating and coercing judges to frustrate PF legal battles.

During the trial the prosecution lined up several witnesses who testified in the matter among them President Hichilema’s Private Secretary Alfred Chipoya.

Mr Chipoya told the court that no judge or person from the judiciary met with the President between the first week of December and 22, 2021 as was alleged by Nakacinda.

Muvi Television head of current affairs production, Innocent Phiri told the court that Nakacinda on the material day allegedly told journalists in an interview at the Lusaka High Court grounds that he was aware that President Hichilema was intending to summon judges at his house.

Yesterday, in her ruling Ms Wishimanga said that after analysing the evidence before her, she established that the prosecution had adduced sufficient evidence warranting the placing of Nakacinda on his defence.

She said it now remained on the accused person to tell the court the side of his story.

After the ruling, one of Nakacinda’s lawyers Francis Phiri after consulting with his client told the court that Nakacinda would give sworn in evidence and would call six witnesses.

Ms Washimanga adjourned the case to May 10, 2023, for opening of Nakacinda’s defence.

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