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Police re-arrest Chella Tukuta

Police in Ndola have re-arrested Photographer Chellah Tukuta and transported to Lusaka for more charges.

Chellah appeared before Ndola magistrate Misozi Banda in the morning and pleaded not guilty to the three charges slapped on him in the Magistrates’ Court.

Chellah was granted a K5,000 bail in his own recognizance with two working sureties in the like sum.

However, after meeting all bail conditions around 12:00 hours, police rearrested Chellah.

He was taken to Ndola Central Police Station enroute to Lusaka where he will face more charges.

Before his release on bail, Tukuta had spent 10 days in police cells, prompting the Human Rights Commission to express concern.

In this matter, Chellah 34, is charged with three counts triable at the magistrates’ count and one at the High Court.

In count one, Chellah is charged with publishing defamatory matter concerning Kalifu Abudulah.

It is alleged that on May 26, Chellah published defamatory matter concerning Khalif on Facebook in which he said “Khalif, your time to leave Zambia has come, you chi criminal”.

In count two, he is charged with publishing defamatory matter concerning Khalif.

It is alleged that on June 9, Chellah did publish defamatory matter concerning Khalif Abudulah in form of a Facebook post in which he said “Khalif and Langiwe Lungu, director at ERB (Ernegy Regulation Board) stop arm twisting the Government over fuel, you are the reason fuel is still expensive when it is suppose to be cheap. ‘Thieves’.”

In count three, he is charged with threatening violence.

It is alleged that on June 12, Chellah threatened violence to the property of Khalif Motors Zambia Limited in which he said ‘Khalif if you don’t leave Zambia we shall burn your trucks.”

In count four, Chellah is charged with expressing or showing hatred for person’s because of place of origin.

It is alleged that on May 26 this year, Chellah published on his Facebook page expressing or showing hatred, ridicule, compempt for Khalif because of his place of origin.

When the matter came up for plea before Ndola magistrate Misozi Banda, Chellah pleaded not guilty to the three counts.

His lawyer Chimuka Magubbwi applied for bail pending trial.

“At this stage we have an application to make before this court. These counts are all misdemeanors, which are bondable or bailable. But it has become quite fashionable for the police to over-hold suspects on misdemeanor charges. The law demands that the person be brought to court. The police need to get guidance from the court to bond persons on misdemeanors. I apply for bail in all the four counts, including the one pending instructions, they are all bailable offences,” Magubbwi said.

Magistrate Banda then granted Chellah a K5,000 bail in his own recognisance with two working Ndola based sureties in the like same.

Magistrate Banda adjourned the matter to July 10 for mention and 15 for trial.

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