Socialist Party leaders Dr Fred M’membe and Dr Cosmas Musumali have dragged Rainbow Party leader Wynter Kabimba, demanding general compensatory damages for defamation of character over his allegations that they are funded by homosexual organisations.
The duo has jointly sued Kabimba, Daily Nation Newspaper limited and Millennium Radio’s proprietor Patricia Chibiliti saying they have suffered considerable distress and embarrassment as the result of the publication of the defamatory words.
On April 3, 2018, Kabimba was featured on Millennium Radio’s ‘The Interview’ programme where he charged that leaders of the newly established Socialist Party had left Rainbow Party after they differed on their beliefs in God and on receiving funding from homosexual organizations.
He said he parted ways with the founders of the Socialist Party because they tried to convince him to accept funding from homosexuals and to denounce his belief in God.
However, in a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High court, Tuesday, the plaintiffs Dr M’membe and Dr Musumali stated that Kabimba’s remarks were false and malicious.
“On April 3, 2018, the first defendant (Kabimba) and second defendant (Chibiti) jointly and severally published or caused to be published, during a live radio interview, a programme on Millennium radio, that was streamed live and recorded on the second defendant’s Facebook page. During a commercial break, while laughing and giggling, the following false and malicious words concerning the plaintiffs [were said] before the volume was cut off the live feed: ‘you want me to be a homosexual in order to run a political party? With so many women in Lusaka, why’? The words complained of refer to the plaintiffs and in their natural and ordinary were understood to mean that: (a) the plaintiffs are dishonest and lack integrity, thus not fit to hold public office as leaders of a political party in Zambia. (b) the Socialist party represented by Musumali is founded on immoral principles and values and gets funding from immoral people. (c)the plaintiffs do not meet the ethical and integrity standards expected of a political party aspiring to form government. (d) the financiers of the Socialist Party have objectable sexual orientation. (e) The Socialist Party should not exist in Zambia, a Christian nation. (f) the Socialist party members are homosexuals and proponents of homosexuality. (g) M’membe has compromised principles and values and as such cannot be friends with Kabimba purportedly of high integrity and values,” read the claim.
The Plaintiffs submitted that the said remarks were published in the Daily Nation, The Mast and News Diggers on April 4, 2018.
“The Plaintiffs further contend that on April 4, 2018, the first and second defendants jointly published or caused to be published on page one of the Daily Nation, under the headline: “Kabimba Spills Beans”. On April 4, 2018, the first defendant published or caused to be published on page seven of the Mast newspaper under the headline “Kabimba hits at SP, but Musumali says it’s a lie”. On April 4, 2018 the first defendant published or caused to be published on page four of the News Diggers Newspaper headlined “Wynter takes on M’membe: They left Rainbow Party because we differed on sexual orientation,” they stated.
The plaintiffs further stated that similar remarks were aired on Joy FM Radio and Prime TV.
They stated that their reputation had seriously been injured by the said words.
“By reason of the publication of the words complained of, the plaintiffs have been seriously injured in their reputation have been brought into public ridicule, scandle and odium, and they have suffered considerable distress and embarrassment,” the plaintiffs stated.
“The plaintiff’s will rely on the following facts and matters to support their claim for damages including exemplary damages; the defendants refused to correct, retract or tender an apology. The defendants published or caused to be published the said words (a) with the knowledge that they were libelous. (b) the defendants did not verify the truth of the wild and false statements before publishing them. (c) the libelous words were published with total disregard to the first plaintiff’s reputation and privacy as a family man.”
The plaintiff’s are claiming for general compensatory damages and exemplary damages for defamation of character, an injunction to restrain the defendants from further publishing or causing to be published, the said or similar words defamatory of the plaintiffs, as well as any other reliefs the court may deem fit.