THE case in which former president Michael Sata had sued Daily Nation proprietor Richard Sakala and University of Zambia (UNZA) lecturer Choolwe Beyani has been abandoned and withdrawn from court.
According to a notice of abatement filed in the Lusaka High court, the case had fallen off because of the death of president Sata in October last year.
In May, 2012 the Daily Nation published a story headlined ‘‘Sata protecting criminal friends’’ in which it was reported that the decision by the Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) to cancel instructions of engagement of their lawyers Malambo and Company who had won the case in which the company was claiming K14billion from Zambian Airways owner Fred M’membe proprietor of the Post \newspaper and embtattled Director of Public Prosecutions Mutembo Nchito was a corrupt act by the then president.
In the article, it was reported that the DBZ decision to remove Mr Malambo as their legal counsel was merely intended to protect Mr Saya’s criminal friends.
Mr Sata had initially sued United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema, Mr Sakala, Lloyd Himambo and Dr Choolwe Beyani for libel and defamation after the Daily Nation revealed that DBZ had withdrawn the legal services of Mr Malambo to protect Mr M’membe and the two Nchito brothers.
Mr Sata at the time requested the Lusaka High Court to grant him an injunction to restrain the Daily Nation from further publishing similar articles which had previously been published in the Daily Nation editions of May, 7, 8, 14, 15 and 16, 2012.
Mr Sata was also claiming general and exemplary damages for defamation of character as well as interest at the obtaining bank rate.