ZCCM-IH Chief Executive Officer Dr Pius Kasolo has sued Daily Nation Newspaper in the Lusaka High Court for insinuating that he had intentions of taking over the Patriotic Front presidency seeking damages for malicious falsehood.
In a statement of claim filed today, Dr Kasolo stated that he had suffered harassment and unnecessary question on whether or not he was contesting the PF presidency.
“On the 23rd day of February 2017, the defendant published an article on page 4 of the Daily Nation Newspaper, volume 3 issue no 1594 entitled ‘Team Pius Kasolo’, an article which was in direct reference to and discussant of the plaintiff. The veracity or truthfulness of the said article were not verified with the plaintiff before it was published by the defendant. The article falsely stated and imputed among other things that the plaintiff had political ambitions to take over as president of the PF, a political party in Zambia and that there was a ‘community of Zambians who believed that the goals and the beliefs of the PF were well embodied in him’ when in fact there existed no such community and there was no factual evidence to that the Plaintiff had any political ambitions to take over the leadership of the PF as alleged,” Dr Kasolo stated.
“The article further falsely and without truth stated that the Plaintiff had worked or had held positions of employment with the European Union and the Zambia Revenue Authority when in fact not. The article further falsely and maliciously stated that that the ‘Plaintiff was the only one outstanding of all the technocrats in Zambia.”
He submitted that the article was meant to alienate him from President Edgar Lungu and the ruling party.
“The false and unverified publication placed the plaintiff in a position of both actual and potential antagonism with the PF leadership and had put and continues to put the Plaintiff at great risk from potential political aspirants, notably that politics in Zambia at many times tend to have varying levels of violence associated with it,” Dr Kasolo stated.
“The false and unverified publication was further meant and intended to isolate the Plaintiff from the Republican President who is leader of the ruling PF, the party in government to whom he renders a service as Chief Executive Officer of a public listed parastatal company the ZCCM-IH Plc.”
He further submitted that he had received countless threats from unknown people and stressful phone calls.
“The Plaintiff being a person of professional public standing has suffered harassment and unnecessary questioning on whether he is challenging the leadership of the Patriotic Front. The Plaintiff has been put in a position that makes him appear hostile to the ruling party, the publication wholly affected the Plaintiff’s professional integrity and caused stress, mental anguish fear and isolation,” stated Dr Kasolo noting that Daily Nation refused to apologise publicly.
Dr Kasolo is therefore seeking damages for malicious falsehood, interests on all sums, costs and any other relief the court might deem fit.