A 45-year-old man of Chawama who allegedly took his tribal cousin joke too far by saying her female Bemba neighbour had bewitched his son has been fined K300 for defamation in a Lusaka Local Court..
This is in a case in which Agnes Mulenga, 40, of Chawama compound sued her neighbor, Boniface Phiri of the same compound for defamation of character for calling her a witch.
Mulenga told Senior Court Magistrate Kalunga Chansa sitting at Chawama Local Court that on June 20, when she was coming from work Phiri called her and told her that she should stop bewitching his child.
She explained that she thought Phiri was joking but other day again he told her the same message.
In cross-examination, Mulenga said that she does not joke with Phiri.
In defence, Phiri said that Mulenga is his tribal cousin and that every time when he knocks off they chat.
He explained that he asked Mulenga why she was not coming to see his sick child and jokingly said that she is bewitching his child.
Phiri’s wife, Emeldah Chifukusa, 38, said that since Phiri married her, Mulenga has been coming to her house to joke with Phiri and that sometimes she sits on his laps in her presence and embraces him.
She explained that the other time she had to pull Mulenga away because she became jealous as she tought the ‘chimbuya’ was getting out of hand.
Emeldah added that Phiri was joking when he told Mulenga that she had bewitched their child as they were tribal cousins. Passing judgment, Magistrate Chansa said some of the jokes are not good like in this case because Phiri’s child was sick and he told Mulenga that she had bewitched his child. He ordered Phiri to compensate Mulenga with K300 in monthly installments of K100.
He said that the compensation was small because they are tribal cousins.