A Lusaka man has sued Hakainde Hichilema’s wife Mutinta for libel in the Lusaka High Court seeking K5 billion compensation.
According to a statement of claim filed in the High Court Principal Registry yesterday, Simon Bobo stated that Mutinta issued a fabricated story on April 30 that he blocked her vehicle, took pictures and insulted her at the Lusaka Central Prison after she visited her husband.
“The said press statement which was issued by the defendant on both print media and online publications were false, malicious and injured the plaintiff’s reputation and compromised the safety of his family and the plaintiffs entire standing in the country and across the world in the way plaintiffs relatives, friends and business associates started looking badly and negatively at plaintiff,” Bobo stated.
Bobo claimed that he had gone to visit his cousin at the prison but Mutinta mistook him for the man who wanted to kill her.
“That the mission of the plaintiff was to visit his cousin who was an inmate at the central prison but they took the plaintiff as the person who wanted to kill the defendant because he was in PF labeled hat. That the plaintiff was taken to police headquarters which later revealed that there was no evidence to the claims made by the defendant and he was made to pay K54 which amount was for disturbances likely to cause a breach of peace. That during the stay of the plaintiff in cells, he was made to stay with four other people and one of them got a picture of the plaintiff purporting that it was a remembrance during the stay of the cell but to the surprise of the plaintiff, the same picture was cropped and used to publish a statement in Zambian Eagle online publication that as lead assassin and that they had sources that told them that the plaintiff is the same killer who wanted to kill the defendant. That further according to the publication, plaintiff was one of the key men President Edgar Chagwa Lungu has entrusted with the mission,” he stated.
“That they further claimed through these Zambian Eagle online publication that President Edgar Chagwa Lungu wanted by all means to kill UPND president Hakainde Hichilema through Kaizer Zulu, who they called his special advisor for stupidity and theft, who had organized seven assassins from Zimbabwe to kill HH and the top UPND officials. That the said press statement further stated that this evil project was spearheaded by Mumbi Phiri and that Kennedy Kamba was busy delivering food to hotels which hosted the assasins and the said assassins were given K300,000 as first payment. That the said online publication were not only published in the Zambian Eagle alone but also in the print media called The Mast and Watchdog.”
Bobo said he wished to solve the matter amicably but Mutinta refused to heed to his demands hence the law suit.
“The plaintiff wanted to solve the matter amicably and told the defendant and all those who published the said defamatory statement to remove from all online publication and that the defendant should apologise which deadline date was 4th day of June 2017 but the defendant failed to do so hence the court suite,” stated Bobo.
Bobo also wants the court to grant him exemplary damages for “harassment and emotional turmoil suffered as a result of the slanderous statement”, an injunction restraining Mutinta from making further injurious statements against him and any other relief the court might deem fit.