The defamation case against Equity and Economic Party (EEP) president Chilufya Tayali by UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema is still active before the courts of law despite an indication that the two parties would resolve the matter outside court.
When the matter came up before Magistrate Felix Kaoma this morning, Tayali and his lawyers were not before court prompting the court to direct that the matter will proceed next time even in the absence of the accused.
Tayali has been dragged to court by Hichilema for a litany of allegedly defamatory postings on his facebook page.
According to the summons which were filed before court, Tayali is alleged to have unlawfully published defamatory statements concerning Hichilema with intent to injure his reputation.
Hichilema’s lawyer Laston Mwanabo informed the court that he did not know the whereabouts of both the accused and his lawyers Jonas Zimba and Osborne Ngoma as there was no communication.
Magistrate Kaoma adjourned the matter to March 31 for possible withdrawal.
“I will give them a benefit of doubt, but should they fail to avail themselves before my court in the next sitting the matter will proceed in the absence”, Kaoma said.
In the previous sitting, the matter could not proceed into trial because Hichilema’s lawyers Laston Mwanabo and Mulambo Haimbe asked for an adjournment to allow both parties explore an amicable resolutions to their differences.
Mwanabo indicated that he had received instructions to formalize the possible reconciliation.
And Tayali’s lawyers did not object to the application and stated that it was their desire to reconcile the parties.