A female senior public prosecutor yesterday narrated before the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court how she was left feeling humiliated and degraded after a male senior attorney called her a prostitute while at work. Chipo Gura, an officer at the National Prosecution Authority, was testifying in a matter she has sued Richard Nyeleti for allegedly insulting her. Nyeleti, 49, is charged with using insulting language.
On September 17 this year, Nyeleti allegedly used insulting language against Ms Gura by referring to her as a prostitute and uttered other unprintables. The alleged insults had potential to provoke Ms Gura or cause her to break public peace or commit an offence against Nyeleti.
The matter came up yesterday for trial before magistrate Thandose Chabala. In her testimony, Ms Gura, 39, of Mandevu, said on the material day, she reported for work around 07:30 hours.
“I later left the office to go and collect documents from a colleague [within the National Prosecution Authority building],” she said.
Ms Gura said as she walked down the stairs, she met Nyeleti and a Mr Simusa. As she passed the two, Mr Simusa greeted her and she responded accordingly.
“As I took a step down the stairs, I heard Mr Nyeleti saying ‘at ZIALE [Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education] where you [Ms Gura] are going, you will fail [exams],” Ms Gura said. She ignored Nyeleti’s comment but he allegedly repeated the sentiments much louder.
“I then looked back and I told him that he was an elderly person,” Ms Gura said. At this point, Nyeleti allegedly started hurling insults at Ms Gura, who did not retaliate.
“He called me prostitute and that he had sex with me,” she said. Ms Gura said despite being hurt by the insults, she did not respond to avoid attracting unnecessary attention from passers-by who were reporting for work.
At this point, senior State advocate Frank Sikazwe asked Ms Gura how the disparaging remarks from Nyeleti made her feel.
“I felt demeaned, degraded, humiliated, and at some point I felt like I should respond but I decided to walk away in shame,” she said.
Ms Gura reported the matter to the police.
Earlier, Ms Gura refused to settle the matter outside court on grounds that Nyeleti, who is her former lover, has been unrepentant over his actions.
“I had a short relationship with him but when I ended it, he said he was going to embarrass me and tell everyone at work that he had sex with me,” she said.
Trial will continue