THE state has entered in a nolle prosequi in a case where Hakainde Hichilema asked the court to cite Amos Chanda, Richard Sakala and the Daily Nation Newspaper Limited for contempt of court.
The case was supposed to take come up at 12:00 hours for plea but the state filed the nolle on the record as early 8:30 hours.
In this case, the allegation is that Chanda, the State House special assistant to the President for press and public relations, and Sakala, the Daily Nation proprietor and his newspaper, on dates unknown but between May 1 and June 1, 2017, in Lusaka jointly and while acting together with other persons unknown while judicial proceedings were pending in the subordinate court between Hichilema and five others in a case where they are charged with treason, made and published in writing an article which was contemptuous and /or prejudicial against or capable of prejudicing the accused persons.
The story complained of was headlined “HH acted foolishly” that the Daily Nation published on June 1 quoting Chanda who appeared on an Al Jazeera ‘The Stream’ programme on May 30.
In the same article, Chanda had stated that ‘…there was no witchhunt in the arrest of Mr Hichilema as the predicament he faced was purely out of his recklessness and foolish behavior of endangering the life of the President even after power sirens signalled the coming of the presidential motorcade’.
The other allegation concerning defamation alleged that the trio on the same dates jointly and while acting together with other persons unknown published defamatory words concerning the complainants by exposing them to hatred, contempt or ridicule.