National secretary of the Felix Mutati-led MMD Raphael Nakachinda has commenced legal proceedings against Prime Television and its reporter Kalani Muchima for calling him a thief.
Nakacinda has sued Prime TV’s managing director Akakulubelwa Akakulubelwa, Prime TV’s proprietor Gerald Shawa and Kalani, saying he has suffered mental distress, anguish and injury to his reputation as a result.
On April 2, 2018, Nakacinda was invited on Prime TV’s ‘Oxygen of Democracy’, and during the interview Kalani brought up an issue of a Kabwe woman named Martha Mumba who accused Nakacinda of duping her in 2006.
Kalani played a video in which Martha alleged that Nakacinda had failed to deliver a lorry despite getting K47,000 from her to purchase the vehicle.
But Nakacinda said it was unfair to be grilled on a matter, which he was not informed about before coming to the programme.
Nakachinda, who said he was acquitted upon appeal in the matter, charged that the interview was a well-calculated plan to dent his image.
But Kalani insisted on his line of questioning and outrightly called Nakacinda a thief.
According to a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court, Wednesday, Nakachinda is claiming for damages from the private television station.
“As the result of the above, the Plaintiff has suffered mental distress, anguish and injury to his reputation and has been brought into public scandal, odium and contempt. The words in their natural manner were understood to mean that the Plaintiff is a criminal, thief, crook, convict, is unreliable, untrustworthy and a dishonest person. The said interview was designed to disparage and injure the reputation of the Plaintiff,” read the statement of claim.
Nakachinda stated that Prime TV had disregarded his demands of paying him K5,000,000 as compensation for damages and had also not apologized as requested.
“The Plaintiff will rely inter alia upon the following facts in the claim for damages and exemplary damages; on April 5, 2018, the Plaintiff, through his lawyer, caused to be written a demand letter addressed to the managing director of Prime Television requesting K5,000,000 as compensation for damages. The Plaintiff further requested the Defendants to apologize for the defamatory words uttered during the said interview. The Defendants disregarded the Plaintiff’s demand and have neglected to apologize as requested,” read the statement of claim.
He is claiming for damages for the defamatory words, damages for “mental strain and anguish” arising from the allegations, a declaration that Nakachinda is entitled to a retraction and an apology, which is to be broadcasted at least two times with a space of two weeks and to be aired at prime times.
Nakachinda is further claiming for an order of injunction restraining Prime TV from further publishing any words of the like effect defamatory to him, plus any other relief the court shall deem fit and costs.