THE ZAMBIA Daily Mail has applied to the High Court to allow the matter in which United Party for National Development president Hakainde Hichilema has sued them for defamation to be settled outside court.
According to an application made during yesterday’s scheduled hearing for an interim injunction to restrain the newspaper and/or its agents from publishing stories about the plaintiff, Mr Hichilema’s lawyer Marshal Muchende requested the court to allow the defence make an application.
“The matter was scheduled for interparte hearing of the injunction and we want to believe our colleagues have an application to make,” he said.
The matter was held in chambers before High Court Justice Ms Anessie Banda-Bobo who allowed the defence to make their application.
And in his application, Zambia Daily Mail legal counsel Tutwa Ngulube requested the court for an adjournment as there was a possibility of settling the issue out of court.
“We have been discussing the possibility of an ex-curia settlement in the matter. We seek the shortest adjournment in the matter so that both counsels can obtain instructions,” he said.
Ms Justice Banda-Bobo granted the application and set March 7, 2016, as the next date of hearing in the matter.
Mr Hichilema sued the Zambia Daily Mail Limited newspaper, Nebert Mbewe in his capacity as newspaper managing editor and journalist Munide Zulu for publishing an allegedly libelous article in the December 27, 2015 issue of the Sunday Mail.
In another matter, Mr Hichilema equally sued the Times of Zambia, its managing director Beston Ngonga, and two journalists Passy Hachizo and Rebecca Mushota respectively for an article presumed to be defamatory.
Mr Hakainde is expected to appear before Ms Justice Flugence Chisanga today over an injunction application against the Times of Zambia newspapers.
Others sued in the two defamation cases are Patriotic Front (PF) secretary general Davis Chama who is first defendant in both counts, and PF Lusaka Province youth chairman, Kennedy Kamba, and Sunday Chanda in the Daily Mail and Times of Zambia respectively.