5 December 2017

Zambia: Mukata Asks Court to Cite Online Media for Contempt

Murder accused Keith Mukata, who is Chilanga Member of Parliament (MP), has asked the Lusaka High Court to cite online media houses, on allegedly run by the United Party for National Development (UPND), for contempt for publishing what he termed fabricated court articles.

Mukata complained through his lawyer Milner Katolo that Zambia Direct News published an article with a screaming headline that 'We killed my guard together with Kampyongo, testifies Mukata.

This is a matter where Mukata and his partner Charmain are facing one count of murdering Mr Namakambwa Kwenda, a security guard at MIB at AKM Legal Practitioners in Lusaka's Rhodes Park on May 6, 2017.

Mr Katolo said his client's evidence was clear before the court and at no time did he testify by way of admission that he killed his guard together with Kampyongo, and that this kind of reporting was intended to cast Mukata as a murderer in the public eye and suggested that Kampyongo was an accomplice.

"My instruction is that this kind of reporting is prejudicial to our client to cite UPND media team in terms of Section 116 ) (id) of the Penal Code Chapter 87 of the contends that it is contemptuous for any person to represent court proceedings or prejudicing any person before the court," Mr Katolo said.

He said by reason of publication before the court, the authors of these articles were condemning the authority of the judge to receive evidence by subcontracting their own evidence.

"So my application is for a warrant to be issued to the UPND media team to show cause why they should not be cited for contempt," he said.

The court reserved ruling in the matter and the witness, Mukunsa Bwalya, testified that he was part of the team that went to visit Mukata at Emmersdale police to follow up the matter of other cartridges which were found at the scene of crime.

He said one of his workers at the accuseds' law firm heard police officers debating on whether they should also produce the other cartridges found outside the gate or not.


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