FORMER Post newspaper journalist Peter Sukwa has written to the Human Rights Commission to refresh his assault case against current Petauke Central Independent member of parliament Emmanuel Jay Banda.
In his letter to the Commission dated August 30, 2021, Sukwa bemoaned the unfair judgment rendered on the matter.
Prior to the 2016 general elections, Sukwa and Kelvin Phiri from Feel Free Radio were attacked by Banda and his agents while on an assignment in Vubwi district.
Banda, it is alleged, attempted to burn Sukwa alive with 2.5 litres of petrol.
Banda urinated in Sukwa’s mouth, but the Vubwi Magistrates’ Court only ordered Banda to pay a K10,000 fine instead of giving him a custodial sentence.
The punishment was viewed as a mockery of justice by many stakeholders, including media bodies.
“This was the worst case of humiliation and brutal harassment which I suffered at the hands of PF cadres, which left me with lots of body pains, stopped listening (sic) due to perforated left ear as a result of a slap by the said culprit,” he said in the letter. “The Savage treatment was so bad to an extent that I was being tossed around and dropped severally on a rock rough surface ground like a bag of charcoal and mercilessly by Emmanuel Banda and his counterpart Mike Tembo.”
He added that during the fateful moment, a good Samaritan named Charles Nyoka rescued him.
Sukwa explained that when Nyoka tried to take him to Mchinji Hospital, Banda and his team pursued them, blocked the vehicle he was put in, and Banda urinated in the journalist’s mouth and attempted to burn him alive.
“However, my case here borders on humanity, dignity which I no longer have in my work as I am always referred to as a person being urinated in the mouth as an identity. My self-esteem, courage and confidence in my journalism work is gone. I have lost respect and I have doubts about my health since I consumed urine,” Sukwa wrote passionately. “It is noteworthy that I was quiet because of the political hostile environment for the past five years as it was dangerous due to unfavourable political environment if one expressed different views in the country. It is not a secret that Zambians who had no connections to the former government lived in fear of victimisation and harassment by PF cadres due to non-respect to the rule of law and human rights and I feared to pursue the matter further.”
He called on the Commission to start fresh investigations into what he termed a mockery judgment of case number IXD/01/2916.
Sukwa maintained that there was no justice in the sentence due to political influence.
“I want the Commission to take note that during the court proceedings, it was shocking to learn that the culprit and convict pleaded not guilty in two counts of assault, hence my case proceeded into trial, cross examination, judgment,” explained Sukwa. “And the day of sentence the same Jay Banda raised a hand and was accorded a fresh plea where he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a fine of K12,000. K2,000 to the state and K10,000 to me as a complainant, in default meant him serving a six months simple imprisonment.”