Former Defence Minister Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba has demanded K2 million (K2 billion old currency) from Zambia Daily Mail Limited and Anthony Mukwita in his personal capacity for publishing a defamatory, libelous and malicious editorial that demonized the Kasama Member of Parliament for buying a state-of-the-art Range Rover SUV.
Mwamba through his lawyers Makebi Zulu and Advocates has sued Mukwita who is the Zambia Daily Mail managing director as the first defendant and the company as the second defendant and that the two should each pay him K1 million.
Mwamba is claiming damages for the libelous editorial that was published in the Zambia Daily Mail in which the author had questioned Mwamba’s source of wealth and urged the investigative agencies to expedite the process.
The former Defence Minister is also claiming exemplary damages apart from the K1 million from Mukwita and Zambia Daily Mail respectively for publishing malicious falsehoods against him.
After the libelous and defamatory editorial was published, Mwamba wrote to Zambia Daily Mail demanding total retraction of the article and an apology.
But instead of apologizing, Mukwita on 18th February, 2014 wrote a letter to Mwamba asking for a meeting and proposed that the matter could be settled amicably without recourse to the courts forcing the Kasama Parliamentarian to sue him (Mukwita) in his personal capacity as the first defendant while Zambia Daily Mail is the second defendant.
The Lusaka High Court has given Mukwita and Zambia Daily Mail 14 days within which to appear before the court failure to which judgment would be passed in their absence.
Mwamba has also obtained an injunction restraining Mukwita and Zambia Daily Mail from further publishing or causing to be published similar words that are defamatory.
The Kasama Central Member of Parliament is further seeking interest at the current bank lending rate on all sums due to him and any other relief the court may deem fit.
On Monday, the Zambia Daily Mail published a defamatory, envious and malicious editorial in which it was insinuated that Mwamba could have bought a state-of-the-art Range Rover SUV for his wife Chama from proceeds of corruption.
In the said editorial, the author said while there was nothing wrong with open expression of love to spouses, there was everything wrong with Mwamba expressing his love for his wife in the manner he did.
Part of the editorial read: “ It is surprising that a man who is a subject of investigations on serious allegations of corruption could post a toy worth over a million (billion in old currency) Kwacha, which he bought his wife, on Facebook so that everyone can see it…It will be interesting to hear from those who have been criticizing the investigations…If a man could splash that kind of money, spending thousands of Kwacha in a ‘present’ for a member of his family, there is every reason for Zambians to question how he acquired his wealth.”