The Lusaka Magistrate Court has set June 15 as judgment a case in which Enviroflo Limited Director Angelique Elsing was sued by her maid for defamation of character contrary to the Laws of Zambia.
51 year old Elsing, a nurse by profession and director at Enviroflo Limited, appeared before Chief Resident Magistrate Mwaka Mikalile for allegedly telling , Rosemary Mbuzi, her maid ,that she was HIV positive.
Angelique told the court during cross examination by the defense lawyer that she did not fire Rosemary on grounds that she is HIV positive and did not at any point tell her that she was HIV positive.
She told the court that Mbuzi, who worked for her for 4 years, refused to renew her contract last year in September after it expired and that the she only got concerned about the Mbuzi’s health as she had developed lymphnods when she resumed duty from leave.
The court further heard that after Mbuzi’s husband died, his employer hinted to Elsing ‘s husband that the deceased had died from HIV related illness.
In addition, she told the court she had heard that Elsing was saying that Rosemary’s daughter was not growing well as she always slept in class.
The accused told the court that she then told her maid to go for Voluntary Testing and Counseling (VCT ) as there could be possibility of one becoming infected from an infected partner. However, Mbuzi did not go for counseling as advised by her employer.
The court also heard that when Mbuzi told her employer that she had TB (tuberclosis) last year, the accused wrote a letter to the doctor to asking if Rosemary’s TB was conten or not and got a response was that it was not.
Elsing further said after Mbuzi refused to sign forms to renew her contract she only got a phone call from a named private television station in November last year that she fired Mbuzi for being HIV positive.
During chief cross examination by the complaint, Mbuzi insisted that Elsing told her that she was HIV positive and that her daughter has also been sick.
She said her employers’ remarks has dented her image and human dignity.
Magistrate Mikalile urged the contending parties to make written submissions to the court before June 15, 2011, the date which has been set as judgment.