FORMER president Rupiah Banda has commenced contempt proceedings against Post Newspaper owner Fred M’membe and Rainbow leader Wynter Kabimba for causing the publication of a story in which they defamed the former head of state declaring that he is a criminal who is working with President Edgar Lungu to persecute embattled Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mutembo Nchito.
Mr Banda’s lawyer Makebi Zulu confirmed yesterday that following the expiry of the 24 hours ultimatum the former president had given to Mr M’membe and Mr Kabimba and there having been no retraction and apology from the duo, Mr Banda had since sued the two for criminal defamation.
Mr Zulu said Mr M’membe and Mr Kabimba would be appearing in court soon to answer the charges.
Last week, the Post published an article under the headline “Lungu’s government is framing Nchito to cover Rupiah’s criminality” in which they accused the former head of state of scheming with President Lungu to persecute Mr Nchito. In a letter dated February 16, 2015, Mr Banda 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.