State House Press Aide Amos Chanda has written to his lawyers instructing them to enter the defence of fair comment on a matter where he called Roan PF member of parliament Chishimba Kambwili “a downright straight thief”.

This is in a matter where Roan PF member of parliament Chishimba Kambwili filed a summon letter against Chanda in the High Court on defamation allegations.

But Chanda has written to his lawyers giving them instructions to enter the defence of justification and fair comment on “matters of public interest”.

According to his latter dated 30th January 2018 addressed to his lawyers the Messrs. Eric Silwamba & Company, Chanda has also instructed his advocates to proceed to counter demand against Kambwili’s many falsehoods he has allegedly issued against him.

“I have received a Writ of Summons from the High Court of Zambia moved by Chishimba Kambwili, who is seeking my appearance before Court within 14 days of service in a suit where he alleges that I have defamed him. Although the Summons are dated 8th December, 2017, and accompanied by a Certificate of Urgency, I was only served on 15th January, 2018. From the Court Order, I have learn’t that the matter comes up before the Hon. Mr. Justice Zulu on 7th February, 2018,” Chanda stated.

“In his affidavit in support of Summons, Kambwili seeks among other things, an Interlocutory Injunction to restrain me from defending myself, the President and the Government against his incessant, malicious and baseless falsehoods upon which he decided to build what already seems like an ill-fated bid for the Presidency given the extraordinary depths to which he has sank political discourse in a mistaken view that the public supports his rantings and foul language against others.”

Chanda stated that he would aver before Court that Kambwili cannot come to equity with dirty hands and that his general reputation is so soiled that it is not possible to lower it any further.

“He claims that his credit and reputation have been brought into scandal, odium and contempt in the eyes of right thinking members of society and therefore, I must be gagged so that I do not say anything about him as he proceeds on an onslaught against me and others. It is my fervent belief that this raucous, vile, malicious mean-spirited, but cowardly bully, does not have any reputation to damage in the first place, and therefore, his claims are totally baseless. You therefore have my instructions, to, among other considerations, enter the defence of justification and fair comment on matters of public interest. I will aver before Court, that Kambwili cannot come to equity with dirty hands and that his general reputation is so soiled that it is not possible to lower it any further. His decision to run to Court to seek gagging orders against his victims who have decided to defend themselves is nothing but typical of his cowardly acts when he is called to account. His action is also an abuse of the Court process to buy him time as he proceeds to Willy-nilly character assassinate others,” further read the letter.

“I have always held Kambwili in very low esteem but he has exceeded even that low mark. Otherwise how can he not see it as the ultimate contradiction, that he, the very embodiment of slander, can himself sue others and seek gagging orders to prevent commentary on him? Further, a gagging order against me does not just go to the core of my responsibilities in my current job, but is also inherently undemocratic because it would narrow the space available to all citizens to exercise their freedom of expression, particularly in the face of senselessly aggressive characters like Kambwili. That notwithstanding, you may also proceed to counter demand against his many falsehoods he has issued against me. Kindly note also that the words complained of were made during my course of duty on an official television appearance,” stated Chanda.

On October 10, 2017, Chanda told News Diggers! in an interview that Kambwili was a metal thief.

“People have been poisoned by a poisonous elite, people who are accustomed to lies like Kambwili, a scrap metal dealer, a downright straight thief. He can question about me and say ‘a simple journalist’ [has acquired wealth] lets assume I am a simple journalist but I am qualified, more qualified than he is, but he goes and says a simple journalist. A scrap metal dealer, and you have a population clapping in the context like that one. Kambwili is talking nonsense and the population is clapping for him, he goes to malign an innocent person and the population is cheering on. He is a metal thief, well documented. He is not even a scrap metal dealer, he is a thief,” charged Chanda.