NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili and Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services Limited have sued Economic and Equity Party leader Chilufya Tayali in the Lusaka High Court, claiming damages for defamation of character and mental anguish.
The plaintiffs, Kambwili and Mwamona, have stated that Tayali uttered defamatory words against them at a press conference last year on October 27, when he accused the directors of Mwamona, as well as Kambwili, of fraud.
Tayali had said at the press conference, among other accusations, that when Kambwili came back to Zambia from UK after PF had started gaining mileage, he had no money and was just renting a house, but today he was worth more than K50 million.
He had charged that Kambwili had fraudulently acquired Mwamona and registered it in his son and wife’s names to hide his corruption.
“Which business can you do within seven years to have 50 million? I know how tough business is. But I will tell you how Kambwili has managed to get that 50 million… Fraudulently, Kambwili registered a company called Mwamona…The 50 million worth of properties that I’m talking about, most of it you won’t find it in CKs name, you won’t. And this is why he boasts to say ‘I’m as clean as KK’s handkerchief’, it’s because the properties that he has fraudulently or corruptly acquired are not in his name…,” Tayali had charged.
But in a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court, Thursday, the plaintiffs stated that the said words were false, malicious and defamatory.
They disclosed that they had been severely injured and their reputation had been brought into scandal, odium and contempt in the eyes of the society as the result.
The plaintiffs denied the said words saying that they were not guilty of any of the things they had been accused of by Tayali.
They added that they were and had always been well-respected and law abiding citizens.
They observed that Tayali allowed the recording of the said conference knowing fully well that the same would be heard by people within and outside Zambia, to the total destruction of the plaintiffs.
“The defendant allowed the recording of the said conference knowing fully well that the same would be heard by people within and outside Zambia, to the total destruction of the plaintiff. The said publication has since been widely circulated and has been heard byvthe Zambian and international community who include the plaintiffs’ colleagues, subordinates, business partners, family and friends,” read the statement of claim.
The plaintiffs stated that unless Tayali was restrained, he would continue uttering defamatory statements against them.
“Unless the defendant is restrained from uttering further false, malicious and defamatory statements against the plaintiff, he will continue to utter the same or similar statements to the total destruction of the plaintiffs political, business and private life as well-respected, law abiding and honest citizens,” read the statement of claim.
They now claim for exemplary or punitive damages for defamation of character, compensatory damages, damages for mental anguish and strain, a public retraction and apology in respect of all the defamatory utterances, interest, costs and any other reliefs the court may deem fit.