HH’s wife asks court to throw out libel suit for lacking merit

UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema's wife Mutinta at Magistrates Court in Lusaka-picture by Tenson Mkhala

Hakainde Hichilema’s wife Mutinta has asked the Lusaka High Court to throw out a case in which a Lusaka man sued her for libel claiming K5 billion saying it is incompetently before court.

In his statement of claim, Simon Bobo had alleged 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.

But Mutinta observed that Bobo’s statement of claim did not contain the words complained of verbatim neither was the context and background provided.

“That the publications in which I allegedly made the defamatory statement have not been identified by name, date or description. That the plaintiff complains of his picture being cropped and used to publish a statement in the Zambian Eagle online publication, The Mast Newspaper and Watchdog but does not attribute the cropping of the picture in these publications to me,” Mutinta stated.

“That I am advised by counsel and verily believe the same to be true that the actual words complained of in a defamatory action must set out in the statement of claim to enable this honorable court to judge whether the words constitute a ground of action…the publication from which the words complained of were taken should be identified by name, date or description which has not been done by the plaintiff in this case.”

She further stated that the claim could not be amended and therefore asked the court to dismiss Bobo’s action with costs for not only being inherently defective, mischievous and unmeritorious but also for failing to disclose the cause of action as words complained had not been included.

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