FORMER Director of Public Prosecutions Muntembo Nchito has withdrawn from representing Economic and Equity Party leader Chilufya Tayali in a matter he is facing a charge of defamation of the President due to the differences between his law firm and Lusaka magistrate Alice Walusiku.
And Tayali expressed shock after Vincent Lisulo, an electrician, pulled out as a surety citing family pressure.
When the case was called, magistrate Walusiku asked Tayali about the whereabouts of his lawyers to which he said they had split.
“My lawyers have withdrawn representation citing concerns with this court on their part. I am appealing to this court that I am given ample time to see if I can find other lawyers that can represent me in this matter,” Tayali said.
The prosecution did not oppose Tayali’s application.
At this point, Lisulo told court that he had opted to withdraw as Tayali’s surety.
“I have made a decision to withdraw as a surety because of pressure from my family,” said Lisulo.
When asked by the court if he had heard the surety’s application, Tayali said, “I’m dumbfounded, especially that my surety is a person very close to me, a brother who always talks to me but he had not told me anything. I have been ambushed I wish he had informed me earlier, I would have been prepared, but to ambush me in this doc is very unfair. I plead with this court to consider my predicament.”
Magistrate Walusiku in her ruling told Tayali that his surety had the right to withdraw at any time.
She urged the accused to raise a surety by Friday next week, failure to which his bail would be revoked.
The court also told Tayali to engage other lawyers and be ready for trial on August 26.
In this matter, Tayali accused President Lungu of being the influencer of turmoil in the country by sponsoring self-proclaimed PF “national commander” Innocent Kalimanshi to wreak havoc in the PF.
It is alleged that between May 2 and 5, 2021, with intent to bring the name of the President into hatred, ridicule or contempt, Tayali published a video clip in which he said “President Lungu is funding and protecting Innocent Kalimanshi who is the personification of hooliganism, violence and anarchy in the nation.”
Tayali said Kalimanshi had taken a procession on the streets of Lusaka whilst clad in military regalia without facing any sanctions.
He questioned who authorises the leader of a rebellious group of PF youths known as “Americans” to insult senior leaders of the party apart from the Head of State.
Tayali further castigated President Lungu for associating with Kalimanshi and motivating him to perpetrate violence.
Speaking after court, Tayali said, “I’m really shocked, this (Lisulo) is a person whom I talk to and eat with. I am surprised, I know they want me jailed.”