NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili says he will prove to the Lusaka High Court that he did not defame PF Secretary General Davies Mwila when he said the latter hired someone to write his Grade 12 examinations because he was merely stating a fact.
In this matter, Mwila has sued Kambwili demanding punitive and exemplary damages for the malicious words uttered against him at a press briefing last year.
On October 27, 2018, Kambwili held a press briefing where he was protesting the rapidity with which Mwila wrote to the Speaker of the National Assembly to declare the Roan seat vacant after the High Court dismissed his suit challenging his expulsion from the PF.
“…Mwila lost an election to a nonentity, a small boy, an independent in Chipili. I have won elections in Roan, three times…And by the way, let Mwila not throw glasses because even that grade 12 certificate he has bamulembele kofye (they wrote for him). When we came to parliament, he came as a form three. Get Mwila in a classroom today to rewrite his grade nga kuti akwata ko nangu nine points (if he can even get nine points). So that chap should not even start me because I know him very well,” he said among other things.
And in a statement of claim filed in court on December 11, 2018, Mwila complained that the parts of the press briefing relating to him, impute traits of dishonesty, bad faith, lack of respect for the education system, that he was not fit to be a leader and that, he was a fraudsters.
He further stated that the words complained of had lowered him in the estimation of right thinking members of the society and had generally brought him into public ridicule, scandal, odium, hatred and contempt.
Mwila stated that all efforts to have an apology rendered and the words and statement retracted, had proved futile.
But in his defence filed in the Lusaka High Court on May 7, Kambwili denied the allegations, saying he would put Mwila to strict proof at trial.
He said the words Mwila complained of were justified and of a fair comment, made in good faith and without malice.
Kambwili further stated that the words complained of did not bear and were not capable of bearing the meaning alleged in the statement of claim.
He added he would demonstrate to the court at trial that the words complained of in their natural and ordinary meaning, were true in substance and in fact.
Kambwili stated that if and in so far as may be necessary, he would rely on Sections 6 and 7 of the Defamation Act Chapter 68 of the laws of Zambia.
“Particulars of fair comment; (I) The words complained of are a fair comment and are statements of facts which emanate from the reasonable observations of the defendant (Kambwili). (ii) The words complained of were fair comment and were not actuated by malice for information of the public. (iii) The words complained of are tru and not in any way malicious” stated Kambwili.