‘Reformed’ Economic Equity Party leader Chilufya Tayali was on the back foot after the University of Zambia Student Edward Sichali sued him for defamation refused to withdraw the case.
Tayali was dragged to court for accusing the third year University of Zambia student of being sponsored by UPND president Hakainde Hichilema to hold a protest at the UNZA which led to the death of a fourth year Education student Vespers Shimuzhila.
In this case Sichali accused Tayali of seven counts of contempt of court and publishing defamatory statements.
When the matter came for trial the complainant though his lawyers Henry Mbushi and Mulambo Haimbe informed the court that they were ready to proceed with the matter.
However, the defendant Tayali pleaded with the court to give him more time to engage a lawyer as eh had been trying to settle the matter out of court.
The EEP leader informed the court that he had been making frantic efforts to prevail over the complainant through his lawyers to withdraw the matter.
“Your honour from December up to until few days ago I was out of the country but I kept on engaging the lawyers through text messages to have the matter withdrawn. I was hopeful that we would reach the conclusion unfortunately until last night I was told that the complainant wants to continue with the matter,” he narrated.
“Unfortunately for this reason I would need representation if we have to go on with the matter so I would love the court to give me some time so that I engage the lawyers and hopefully before then we can try to reach a conclusion to settle the matter outside Court.”
Sichali’s lawyers remained adamant urging the court to proceed with the matter.
The matter has been adjourned to January 14 for commencement of trial.