Thursday, February 22, 2024

Cleaning Association of Zambia President Lawrence Makumbi Cleared of Libel Charges


The Lusaka Magistrate Court has cleared the President of the Cleaning Association of Zambia, Lawrence Makumbi, of charges of libel brought against him by NemChem Managing Director Toni Burato. The dismissal came after the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) denied Mr. Burato’s application to prosecute Makumbi for libel, citing a lack of merit.

The decision was delivered on Tuesday, January 9th, 2023, when the defence team, led by Makumbi’s lawyer, submitted before Lusaka Magistrate Ann Holland that the case was illegally before the court as the DPP, Gilbert Phiri, had not granted consent to prosecute the matter.

The defence argued that the case should be quashed as Makumbi had not been served with the summons, and lawyers for the complainant were absent during two court proceedings.

In the six libel charges, Mr. Burato accused Mr. Makumbi of defaming him in a letter dated April 13, 2023, alleging that the complainant formed a personal union, deducting K157,000 from over 7,000 NemChem workers.

After being cleared, Lawrence Makumbi expressed gratitude to the Judiciary for fairly administering justice. Addressing the media, he said, “I am so happy today because the Judiciary has demonstrated fairness. These foreigners wanted to have me locked up for a long time because I always speak up against injustices, especially on our cleaners.”

Now freed from legal concerns, Makumbi pledged to focus on advocating for the protection of the rights of cleaners. He stated, “Now that I have been set free, I will go all out and speak for the cleaners. The time of exploitation at the hands of these foreigners has come to an end,” emphasizing his commitment to fighting against injustices faced by the cleaning community.


  1. I am not painting white South Africans with the same brush. I will be the first to admit we have our share of crooks & criminals among our indigenous Zambian population. Having worked with them for the past 25 years in several companies, a lot of them have come out as accomplished white collar, racist scammers/fraudsters. I have seen them bankrupt a thriving international corporation in a couple of years mainly through procurement of goods and services through proxy companies that they own but don’t appear on the list of official shareholders. I have met a good number of professional, honest white south Africans managers and directors. But they are becoming few and far between. The bad ones are creating a bad reputation across the African continent.

  2. The complainant has an option of going to the civil registry and sue for defamation unlike the route he took. When somebody defames you, sue them for compensation as opposed to sending them to jail

  3. How does it go in Zed? Does the DPP decide whether I should sue if my wife is cheating on me even if all my eveidence is hearsay? Or if I have been conned? Or if I ve been insulted by a troll on the web?

  4. Criminal cases fall under the ambit of the DPP so it’s no use pursuing them. Better to go the civil way and collect all his money.

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