FORMER United Party for National Development (UPND) vice-president for administration Richard Kapita has sued four senior party members for defamation of character and is demanding K1 million compensation from each of them for libel.
Mr Kapita, a businessman and member of the Patriotic Front (PF), has sued Watson Lumba, Mark Kalemba, Grandson Katambi and Mulondwe Muzungu for alleging that he is a thief and was lured with money to join the ruling party.
He says Mr Muzungu uttered the alleged defamatory words on a Mwinilungu Radio programme while Mr Lumba, Mr Kalemba and Mr Katambi issued the libelous words in Solwezi during a live phone-in programme on North-Western Television on May 23, 2015.
This is contained in writ of summons filed in the Lusaka High Court registry yesterday.
“The plaintiff claims for an injunction restraining the defendants by themselves, their servants or agents or otherwise from further publishing the said or any similar libel concerning the plaintiff,” Mr Kapita said.
He is also claiming any other relief the court will deem fit and costs incidental to the proceedings.
In the statement of claim, Mr Kapita says Mr Muzungu allegedly said those that are leaving the UPND to join the PF are thieves who are afraid of prosecution; that they have stolen and are looking for help from the government.
Mr Muzungu is also alleged to have said people leaving the UPND are thieves who have stolen from their previous parties and are joining their fellow thieves to continue stealing.
But Mr Kapita says the words in their natural and ordinary meaning meant that he was a thief who had resigned from the UPND with improper base and sordid motives of running away from prosecution.
He said Mr Muzungu’s words also imply that he joined the PF to seek protection for criminal activities, including that of theft which he committed while he was a UPND member.
Mr Kapita said the statements were defamatory and calculated to vilify and ridicule him in his professional office and bring him into hatred, odium and contempt.
He says the words are meant to lower him in right estimation of right-thinking citizens.
Mr Kapita said the words of Mr Lumba, Mr Katambi and Mr Kalemba that he left UPND in unclear circumstances and joined the PF for financial gains imputed criminal activity, theft, impropriety and base motives for leaving the opposition party by running away from prosecution