ECONOMIC and Equity Party leader Chilufya Tayali has denied labeling President Edgar Lungu as an influencer of turmoil in the country by sponsoring self-proclaimed PF “national commander” Innocent Kalimanshi to wreak havoc in the PF.

Tayali, who is facing a charge of defamation of the President in the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court, pleaded not guilty to the charge before magistrate Alice Walusiku.

Tayali, 47, of House No.38 Ngwezi road, Roma township in Lusaka, was granted bail after his lawyer Mutembo Nchito asked the court to grant his client bail.

“The accused has been in custody since Thursday May 6 without being given police bond. The offence he is charged with is bailable. He is of fixed abode and a very well-known individual who is not a flight risk,” Nchito said. “It is my prayer that the court grants the accused bail pending trial.”

Magistrate Walusiku granted Tayali K20,000 bail in his own recognisance and two working sureties from reputable organisations bound on similar conditions.

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 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.

Trial commences on June 23.


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