By CHARLES MUSONDA
PATRIOTIC Front supporter Innocent Kalimanshi has again denied defaming former Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo.
Kalimanshi, 40, of house number D50 Salama Park in Lusaka, denied the charge yesterday before Lusaka Magistrate Faides Hamaundu after the case was reallocated to her following the decision by another Magistrate Felix Kaoma to recuse himself from handling the case.
Mr Kaoma recused himself from the libel case because he has been allocated another matter involving Kalimanshi in which he is jointly charged with three others for assault occasioning actual bodily harm and criminal trespass with intent to annoy at the PF Secretariat on May 1, 2021.
The incident happened when former National Democratic Congress (NDC) president Chishimba Kambwili went to rejoin the ruling party.
In the libel case, particulars of offence are that on November 8, last year in Lusaka, Kalimanshi unlawfully published a defamatory matter affecting Mr Kampyongo in form of a WhatsApp message.
Kalimanshi is alleged to have said that when President Lungu decided to drop one position of PF national youth chairman from Mr. Kampyongo and gave it to then Kasama Central member of Parliament Kelvin Sampa, the then minister was annoyed and sent him (Kalimanshi) to start saying bad things against Mr. Sampa.
Kalimanshi is also alleged to have said that when he was arrested for assault and was in custody, Mr. Kampyongo instructed the police to deny him bond and took a sack of sausages to criminal investigations officer a Mr. Musonda as an inducement.
Kalimanshi is further accused of saying that when he was in Johannesburg, South Africa, Mr. Kampyongo sent some people to kill him.
Trial starts on June 28, this year.
Meanwhile, Kalimanshi says after consulting his family and his colleagues, he has forgiven all PF members who attacked him and destroyed his motor vehicle on May 1, this year at the party secretariat.
He told journalists yesterday that he and his assailants are one family and that he has decided to forgive them as a sign of leadership and maturity.