Ex-soldier tells court why he insulted superiors

Judge Mallet; Hammer
Judge Mallet; Hammer

A FORMER Zambia Army officer has told the Supreme Court that he insulted his superiors who went to his house to collect military equipment because he was wrongly dismissed.


Trywell Katukula, 39, of house number 2802, in Newtown, Kasama also told Supreme Court judge Gregory Phiri, who was sitting in Ndola recently with Justices Mumba Malila and Elizabeth Muyovwe that he was fired from the army for attending job interviews elsewhere.



When asked by Justice Phiri if at all he insulted the senior officers who had gone to his house to collect the armoury, Katukula admitted, saying he told them to “go to hell” because he was unlawfully discharged from the army.


Katukula, who kept referring to his conviction as being “bogus” said he did nothing wrong by attending job interviews somewhere else.
“Yes, I insulted them because I was wrongfully discharged from work. I served a ‘bogus’ jail term because it was a ‘bogus’ conviction. Where in the world is it an offence to attend interviews elsewhere when you are employed in the army?” he said.


Katukula was in 2012 sentenced to five years imprisonment with hard labour by the Kasama Magistrate’s Court for being in possession of offensive weapons, but the sentence was later reduced to two years by the High Court. He has already served the sentence.


But in this matter, Katukula has asked the Supreme Court to quash his conviction by the lower courts as he believes that he was wrongfully convicted.
Particulars of the offence were that on October 5, 2012, in Kasama, Katukula was in possession of an AK47 rifle, with 106 rounds of ammunition, two empty AK47 rifle magazines and two bayonets, without lawful authority.


But in his appeal, Katukula argues that he was wrongfully convicted as he had the right to be in possession of the military equipment because he was a bonafide employee of the army at the time.
He also contends that he was unfairly dismissed from the army.
Mr Justice Phiri then advised Katukula to appeal against his dismissal from work in the Industrial Relations Court as the matter was civil in nature. But the former army officer said he could not appeal against his discharge from work as he had been remanded in custody after his arrest and was denied bail.
Judgment in the matter comes up on September 9.