POST Newspaper owner Fred M’membe and Rainbow Party leader Wynter Kabimba are likely to face criminal charges in the courts of law for allegedly causing the publication of a story in which they defamed former president Rupiah Banda that he is a criminal who is working with President Edgar Lungu to persecute embattled Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mutembo Nchito.
Mr Kabimba and Mr M’membe have been told to immediately retract their story published in the Post Newspaper last week under the headline “Lungu’s government is framing Nchito to cover Rupiah’s criminality ‘‘or face criminal and civil proceedings.
In a letter dated February 16, 2015, Mr Banda through his lawyers Makebi Zulu and Associates said he had never been convicted of any criminal charges and was not involved in the prosecution of Mr Nchito who was last week arrested over several civil and criminal offences.
Mr Banda said the article was not only contemptuous and prejudicial to his right to be presumed innocent in relation to matters that were before the court but also defamatory.
He said he was constitutionally entitled to legal counsel of his choice and the fact that the same lawyers who were representing him were also representing Newton Ng’uni who has dragged Mr Nchito to court did not mean that he was scheming with President Lungu to frame the DPP with charges.
“I will commence both criminal and civil proceedings against yourselves should you not retract and apologise within 24 hours.
I have never been convicted of any criminal charges and I am not involved in the private prosecution of one Mutembo Nchito as propagated by yourselves. Your article is therefore not only contemptuous and prejudicial to my right to be presumed innocent in relation to matters before the courts but also defamatory,” Mr Banda said.
He said that the article meant and was understood to mean that he was a criminal and that in wishing to cover up his criminality, he had allegedly hired Mr Ng’uni to settle perceived scores against Mr Nchito.