RAINBOW Party leader Wynter Kabimba and Post Newspaper proprietor Fred M’membe were yesterday in the dock but did not take plea in a matter in which former president Rupiah Banda has sued them for defamation.
The Lusaka Magistrates Court has now set Tuesday, March 17 as the date for Mr Kabimba and Mr M’membe to take plea over the matter.
When the matter came up for plea yesterday before Magistrate Kenneth Mulife, the duo and the Post through their lawyer Nchima Nchito applied for an adjournment because he had another matter at the Lusaka High Court.
Mr Kabimba was represented by Mr Eddy Mwitwa.
Mr Nchito also told the court that he intended to raise preliminary issues before plea could be taken by Mr Kabimba and Mr M’membe.
In his ruling, Magistrate Mulife set March 17 as the date for plea for Mr Kabimba, Mr M’membe and the Post Newspaper.
In a statement of complaint filed in the magistrates court recently, Mr Banda submitted that Mr Kabimba, Mr M’membe and the Post were advised to apologise and retract their contemptuous comments against him but refused to do so.
The former president said Mr Kabimba and Mr M’membe refused and Mr Kabimba reiterated his position by stating that he would neither apologise to Mr Banda nor retract his comments.
“I have been advised by my appointed advocates, Messr Makebi Zulu Advocates and believe the advice to be true that the matters complained of are capable of prejudicing myself in the matters currently before court as the court are hearing matters which are of criminal nature against me wherein they are to determine whether or not I am a criminal,” he said.
Mr Banda said the article and the comments complained of contravened and defied the ruling of the court.
He said the article and comments were contemptuous and defamatory and were in contravention of section 116 (d) and 191 of the Penal Code chapter 87 of the laws of Zambia.
Mr Banda said Mr Kabimba, Mr M’membe and the Post in their publication published an article entitled ‘Lungu’s Government is framing Nchito to cover Rupiah’s Criminality-Kabimba’ where he was labeled as a criminal.
He said he has never been convicted of any crime by any court or outside Zambia despite being charged with alleged corrupt practices.