The Lusaka Magistrates’ Court has dismissed an application by National Democratic Congress (NDC) president Chishimba Kambwili who wanted his defamation of the President case referred to the High Court for Constitutional determination.
His lawyers Keith Mweemba and Gilbert Phiri had applied that the matter be referred to the High Court and in the alternative, to the Constitutional Court for determination of seven questions.
Among the seven questions Mr Kambwili wanted the court to determine was whether or not the thing or action taken by the State through the police to arrest and prosecute him on unclear charges infringes the right to the protection of freedom of expression in line with Article 20 of the Constitution.
He also wanted the court to determine whether or not the offense of defamation of the President in the manner it has been done under the authority of Section 69 of the Penal Code contravenes or infringes his rights to fair trial.
He further wants the court to determine whether or not his arrest and prosecution on the said charge is in violation of the principle of quality of arms and the right to fair trial.
The former chief government spokesperson also wanted the court to quash the indictment as the particulars of offence do not disclose an offense of defamation of the president.
However, Lusaka chief resident magistrate Lameck Mwale said after carefully considering the submissions from both parties, he was of the view that the application lacked merit and was therefore, dismissed.
Magistrate Mwale ordered that the matter proceeds to trial but the State told him that the witness was not before court as he was out of town.
Mr Kambwili is charged with defamation of the President contrary to the Laws of Zambia after he was accused of referring to President Lungu as a dog from Chawama.