A RETIRED police officer yesterday told the Ndola High Court that police officers of today are “f***ed up”.
However, Ndola High Court judge Yvonne Chembe warned the defence witness that insulting language is not allowed and will never be entertained in court.
This is in a case where Raphael Tafuna Sikazwe (Chief Tafuna) and seven others are charged with two courts of murder and one court of attempted murder.
It is alleged that on June 2, 2016 at Mpulungu, the accused persons jointly and whilst acting together with others unknown did murder Benson Mukupa Kaoma and Raibos Chifunda.
It is further alleged that on the same date, the accused persons attempted to murder Peter Sinyangwe.
Judge Chembe acquitted 12 of the 20 accused persons and put the seven on their defence after the prosecution team established a prima facie case.
In his defence, Patrick Musonda, 75, of Isoko village in Mpulungu told the court that on the day of his arrest, police officers shackled him like a log and threw him into a police van and slapped him.
Asked by the State why he did not report to the police that on the material day he was just home, Musonda said the police did not listen to him.
“I have denied the charge. Those witnesses that testified against me had a bag of lies against me. I can’t be a murderer. It’s just that the police of these days are ‘f***ed up’,” Musonda said before judge Chembe stopped him.
She warned Musonda not to insult in court and advised him not to play to the gallery as the matter he was charged with was serious.
Judge Chembe further cautioned Musonda that he was advanced in age and educated hence it was expected of him to use respectful language.
“That language is not allowed in court and I want to warn your sternly, let it be the last that you use such a word. It is disrespectful to the court and do not play to the gallery to make people laugh. You (are) facing a matter that carries a capital penalty. That language reserve it for your village and not here. Whether you have a good command of English or not, it will not bail you out but what you will testify in your defence,” she warned.
However, Musonda complained that the officers that handled the case did not take time to scrutinise people they had apprehended and establish what happened on the material day and the people involved.
He said no officer listened to his plea and he opted to find witnesses to attest that he was not part of the mob that perpetrated in the crime.
The witness said he helped the chieftaincy office of senior chief Tafuna in terms of communication as most officers attached to the office were illiterate.
Musonda said he was chosen on merit and that that he was a retired police officer, who had a good command in English language, a component the chiefs office was missing.