…as Children’s Home Centre for Africa demands damages for defamation
THE Post Newspaper has been sued for defamation for alleging that Children’s Home Centre for Africa, a Zambian non-governmental organization, in connivance with a Turkish construction company called Kalite Guvencemiz (Ozturk Holding), attempted to swindle the Zambian Government out of millions of United States dollars.
Children’s Home Centre for Africa president Nevas Mwale has sued the Post Newspaper and African Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption (APNAC) Zambia chapter chairperson
Cornelius Mweetwa and is demanding K500,000 and K300,000 from each of them respectively.
Ozturk Holding, which is owned by Mr Yusuf Ozturk, a Turkish national, is alleged to have connived with Children’s Home Centre for Africa to corruptly get Government building contracts when the two were allegedly not registered companies.
The Post Newspaper reported that Ozturk Holding, with its fake Zambian partners, wanted to partner with the Government to build hospitals, schools, roads and an international airport in Eastern Province, among other infrastructure.
But Mr Mwale has sued the Post Newspaper and Mr Mweetwa and is claiming damages of up to K800,000 from the newspaper and the APNAC chairperson who is also the UPND Choma Central member of Parliament. In a letter dated 1st March, 2016 addressed to Post Newspaper editor-in-chief, Mr Mwale has complained that the Post Newspaper and Mr Mweetwa without any justification referred to him as a swindler, a criminal and a conman among other invectives.
Mr Mwale has also demanded that the Post Newspaper and Mr Mweetwa should respectively retract their statements and apologize within seven days and that the text of the apology should be approved by him.
He submitted that the repeated publication of the defamatory remarks by the Post Newspaper had needlessly aggravated the damage on his reputation and was therefore demanding K500,000 and K300,000 respectively. “Without any reasonable justification referred to our client as a swindler, a criminal and a conman among other invectives. Our client is demanding for a retraction and an apology, the text of which should be approved by us. The repeated publication of the defamatory remarks, needless to say, have aggravated the damage done to our client’s reputation for which he seeks K500,000,’’ Mr Mwale’s lawyers said in the letter to the Post Newspaper.
Mr Mwale submitted that Mr Mweetwa caused the publication of an article in the Post Newspaper in which he branded Children’s Home Centre for Africa and a Turkish construction company called Kalite Guvencemiz (Ozturk Holding) as a group of crooks.
Mr Mwale said Mr Mweetwa is alleged to have claimed that Samuel Nkoma, the Zambia State Intelligence Services (ZSIS) director general, had exposed the fake Turkish investor and their Zambian conmen.
The Post Newspaper reported that it had been established that Ozturk Holding, which is owned by Mr Yusuf Ozturk, a Turkish national, is not registered with relevant Government bodies in that country, including the Turkish Contractors Association (TMB) and the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DIEK), a requirement which is mandatory, Mr Nkhoma is reported to have stated in his letter to Dr Roland Msiska, the Secretary to Cabinet.