POLICE officers this morning saved Chilufya Tayali from attack by suspected UPND supporters who had thronged the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court to hear a defamation case brought against him by Hakainde Hichilema.
The crowd attacked Tayali, who has implicated Hichilema in the death of student Vespers Shimuzhila during a recent riot at the University of Zambia over non-payment of meal allowances.
It is widely believed Vespers died of suffocation from teargas that was fired into the October female hostels.
Police officers at court had to surround Tayali to protect him from the crowd that seemed angered by his attacks on Hichilema.
The Lusaka Magistrates’ Court had summoned Tayali to answer to a complaint of publishing defamatory words against Hichilema.
Hichilema on October 9 reported Tayali to Woodlands Police Station for criminal libel in view of his continued libelous statements in total defamation of his standing and reputation both as an individual and president of the biggest political opposition party in Zambia.
“Citizens will agree with me that I have been very tolerant of him despite the many defamatory statements he had made against me for simply taking a stand on things and my political beliefs. In the latest libel, Mr Tayali has been publishing and uttering public statements to the effect that I am responsible for the death of our beloved daughter, Vespers Shimuzhila who died in a police operation at University of Zambia,” the UPND leader said.
But Tayali, the Economic and Equity Party leader, urged police not to waste time but arrest Hichilema claiming he was guilty of inciting people to rise against the government.
“Mr Hichilema is guilty of the crime including the recent one where a student even died at the University of Zambia. That’s why he has even gone to the police to report me,” said Tayali.