UPND President Hakainde Hichilema has filed a writ of summon in the Lusaka High Court against Chilufya Tayali of the Economic and Equity Party demanding for damages for libel as well as an order directing the defendant to retract the alleged defamatory words published against him.
In a writ of summon filed before the Lusaka High Court filed by M and Associates, Mr Hichilema further seeks an interim and permanent injunction restraining Mr.Tayali whether by himself, his servants or agents or otherwise from further publishing or causing to be published or broadcast the defamatory words or any words similarly.
Mr Hichilema further seeks the defendant to reimburse the sums expended in mitigating the effect of the defendant’s conduct towards him and arising from the publication of the defamatory words of and by Mr Tayali amounting to one 100 million kwacha and any other reliefs the court may deem fit.
Mr Tayali is, according to the writs, said to have on Sunday 15th November, 2020 hosted a Press Briefing at his offices at Villa Office Complex on Musonda Ngosa Road in Villa Elizabetha in Lusaka, where he uttered and caused to be broadcast by live internet (Facebook) streaming, and by digital broadcasting, the defamatory words alleging that the plaintiff corruptly benefited from proceeds of state privatisation and should be in jail and not seeking the Republican Presidency.
“Contrary to the Defendant’s assertions and innuendo contained in the defamatory words, the Plaintiff has never taken pecuniary advantage of the affairs at ZIMCO including but not limited to his purchase of House No. 609/A/77, Poplar Road, Chelstone as the property was legally sold to him some close to 20 years ago”.
“Contrary to the Defendant’s innuendo contained in the defamatory words, the Plaintiff has never acted as receiver, manager or liquidator of Lima Bank as alleged by the Defendant or at all nor did he acquire the said Farm No. 1924, Kalomo through the said Lima Bank (in liquidation) but bought the same from the estate of the late Samson Siatembo through his heirs and assigns as will be demonstrated at trial but suffice to say that the said property is subjudice in Cause No. 2020/HP/ 128 at the suit of the administrator of the estate of the late Samson Siatembo one Pheluna Hatembo and another”, the statement of claims reads.
The writ further adds that despite the Plaintiff demanding formally that the Defendant retracts the said words and renders an unreserved apology to the Plaintiff, the Defendant proceeded to host another Press Briefing at his office aforesaid on Tuesday 17th November, 2020 where he categorically declined to retract and apologise for the disparaging words opting instead to repeat them as he justified his action by saying that he had reported the matter to the law enforcement offices.
Mr Hichilema pleads that his reputation has been lowered in the estimation of right thinking members of the Zambian and global community given his international repute as an astute businessman, and that he is the leader of the largest opposition political party in Zambia and aspiring candidate of the Presidency of the Republic of Zambia.
As a consequence of the Defendant’s actions, the plaintiff has been compelled to engage the services of legal consultants and other consultants and the consequent pecuniary damage, costs and expenses which are projected to accumulate to circa K100 million as the process of litigation and damage control continues in the period leading up to the Presidential elections scheduled for the 12th August, 2021.
Mr Tayali has 14 days during which he has to respond to the writ of summons while any default will leave the plaintiff with no choice but to proceed therein, and judgment may be given in his absence.
Mr Hichilema is represented by M and Associates, Lukona chambers,Muleza Mwiimbu and Associates, Milner and Paul Katolo and Company,Malambo and Company,Keith Mweemba and Associates, CL Mundia and Company and Lusenga Mulongoti and Associates while Mr Tayali is represented by Rabson Malipenga and Associates.