Deputy Ambassador to Sweden Anthony Mukwita has been sued for defamation of character. Former Zambia Daily Mail (ZDM) managing director and now Media and Press Development director at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services Isaac Chipampe, ZDM managing director Bryson Mumba and human resource and administrative manager Lutato Nyendwa have sued Mr Mukwita.
The trio have also sued Mwebantu New Media staffer Kasabo Kalusa, Radio Phoenix and its former news editor Billy Kazoka for alleging that they were corrupt.
Mr Chipampe and others are demanding that Mr Mukwita be ordered to pay them compensatory, exemplary damages and interest on the damages claimed.
The three are further asking the Lusaka High court to grant them an injunction to restrain Mr Mukwita, Mr Kalusa, Mr Kazoka and Radio Phoenix from further writing or publishing any defamatory words against them relating to the issue.
They want another order that the defendants broadcast both on air and by way of printed media specifically the Zambia Daily Mail newspaper an apology and a retraction of defamatory publication and broadcast.
That the four should also meet the legal costs of the court proceedings and pay any other relief the court may deem fit.
Mr Chipampe stated in a writ of summons that on February 24, 2015 at 18 hours Mr Kalusa posted on his electronic website known as Mwebantu New Media and Mr Kazoka and Radio Phoenix broadcast on air a malicious story authored by Mr Mukwita which contained statements that were economical with the truth.
The statements alleged among other things that ACC had established a case against the three for abusing up to K350,600 in relation to the engaging of a private firm they single sourced to print films for ZDM.
The three stated that the words were in their natural and ordinary meaning meant and were understood to mean that they were guilty of corrupt practices, abused their authority and that they are being investigated.
Mr Chipampe and others further stated that the words also were understood to mean that they were so corrupt as they went a step further and illegally terminated Mr Mukwita,s contract to enable them easily facilitate corrupt practices in the manner they out sourced the printing company when Mr Mukwita,s contract of employment was terminated lawfully on the ground not pertaining to the procurement of a printing company.
They stated that the words have tainted, distorted and fed the public with falsehoods and unsubstantiated facts which are alleged to have been copied from confidential letter written by the director general of the ACC to the permanent secretary of information.
Mr Chipampe and others stated that the letter was marked confidential and should not have been in the possession of defendants. They said that they will show to the court that if anything, the letter confirmed that the ACC had previously cleared them of any allegations of wrongdoing and allegations of abuse of authority of office which letter Mr Mukwita and others had in their possession but maliciously and negligently caused to be published.
Mr Chipampe said that the story was authored, published and broadcast by the defendants in a sensational manner when Mr Mukwita knew that the story he caused to be authored was distorted and contained falsehood which his co-accused were fully aware of before they published and broadcast the story.
The three said they have been defamed, severely injured in their character and reputations and have been brought into scandal and contempt.