Former President Rupiah Banda has told the Lusaka High Court that former Attorney-General Musa Mwenye, SC, cannot sue him on behalf of Dr Ludwig Sondashi because he acted as lawyer for Government in the same matter on behalf of the President.
And lawyers representing Mr Banda, Professor Patrick Mvunga, SC, and Dickson Jere of Mvunga Associates, have filed summons to dismiss the case against the former president, saying the case was an abuse of the court process as the matter was resolved a long time ago.
Mr Banda, in an affidavit filed in court yesterday, stated that Dr Sondashi had sued Zambian National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) in 2009 over remarks the former president made at State House but the matter was resolved out of court through a consent judgment in 2012.
In the consent judgment, the Attorney General undertook to pay Dr Sondashi damages as the defamatory remarks were made by the Head of State who could not be sued in his individual capacity but through Attorney General’s chambers.
“That I am also reliably informed that the Solicitor-General of the Republic of Zambia who executed the said consent judgment on behalf of the Attorney General is one Musa Mwenye, SC,” said the affidavit filed by Banda.
Mr Mwenye, through his law firm, Mwenye Mwitwa Advocates, has sued Mr Banda on behalf of Dr Sondashi when the complainant’s lawyer allegedly settled the matter outside court when he was Solicitor-General in 2012.
“That is, it is my intention to call Mr Musa Mwenye, SC, as a witness in this matter as he was the one who acted on behalf of the Attorney- General for the remarks made by myself as President of the Republic of Zambia in 2009 and the matter was amicably settled in 2012,” Mr Banda has argued.
Dr Sondashi is demanding K300 million from Mr Banda for the comment he made at a press conference at State House in March 2009.
Mr Banda’s lawyers stated in the summons that the former president cannot be sued in his individual capacity for the comments he made in his official capacity and that the correct party to sue was the Attorney-General.
The lawyers want the matter struck off as it is vexation and scandalous as the issues being raised were settled after a consent judgment was entered between Dr Sondashi and ZNBC while Attorney General through Musa Mwenye joined the proceedings as third party in order to take up the costs and liabilities of ZNBC.