UPND president Hakainde Hichilema says recent tribal remarks attributed to him in the public media have the potential to hinder his ambitions of becoming Zambia’s republican president, and is claiming K11 million in damages.
Mr Hichilema has sued Patriotic Front secretary general Davis Chama and PF media committee member Sunday Chanda in the first summons for their role in the publication of the alleged remarks which appeared in the Times of Zambia and Zambia Daily Mail newspapers.
This is contained in a law suit filed at the Lusaka High Court against the Times of Zambia and the Zambia Daily Mail newspapers over tribal allegations published in the two papers against the UPND leader.
And Mr Hichilema has applied for an junction to restrain all parties involved in the law suit to refrain from publishing, commenting, causing to publish directly or indirectly the said or similar words defaming the plaintiff.
Others facing the suit include Beston Ngonga in his capacity as Times managing editor, and two journalists Passy Hachizo and Rebecca Mushota, respectively.
And the second suit which also included Mr Chama and PF Lusaka Province youth chairperson Kennedy Kaamba as first and fifth respondents incorporated Zambia Daily Mail Limited, Nebert Mbewe, in his capacity as the newspaper managing editor, and reporter Munide Zulu.
“The Plaintiff will aver that in 27th December 2015, volume 21 No 53, under the headline IT’S SHAMEFUL TO WECOME BEMBAS-HH, the defendants published or caused to be published an article alleging that the plaintiff (Hichilema) allegedly criticized Chieftainess Mwenda of Chikankata for welcoming and speaking to Patriotic Front secretary general Davis Chama in Bemba.
“That the defendants have continued publishing the said words and commenting on the said articles and if not restrained, the defendants’ defamatory statements shall cause irreparable damage to my candidature as aspiring presidential candidate for 2016 elections for the high office of President of the Republic of Zambia,” he said.
He charged that both publications would cause damage to his presidential candidacy and requested the court for further injunction to restrain the defendants including the two media houses and its reporters from carrying publications of the said defamatory nature.
Mr Hichilema said the implication in the said articles was ‘‘too ghastly and no amount of money could adequately atone to the loss’’ he would suffer in the August 2016 presidential elections.
He accused the defendants in both suits of tarnishing his public image, a reputation that would ruin his aspirations of becoming Zambia’s Head of State and was claiming K1 million from each of the 11 defendants in the two law suits.