Wolle Mining Limited has dragged Daily Nation Newspaper, its Editor-In-Chief and four reporters to court, for allegedly publishing several false and malicious articles against Gemcanton Investment Holdings Limited.
Wolle Mining has jointly sued the defendants with Gemcanton Investment Holdings chairperson Abdoulaye Ndiaye and the chief executive officer Abdoul Ba, claiming general and aggravated damages for the libel contained in seven different articles published in the Daily Nation Newspaper between December, 2018, and February this year.
The four reporters sued include; Silumesi Malumo, Rogers Katero, Aaron Chiyanzo and Bennie Mundando.
In a statement of claim filed in the Ndola High Court, Friday, the plaintiffs stated that Wolle Mining Limited were a 50 per cent shareholder in Gemcanton Investment Holdings, and that its core business was mining and trading in emerald gemstones.
The trio stated that the defendants had caused to be published, several false and malicious newspaper articles injuring the reputation, credit and interests of Gemcanton.
“The said articles consist of false and malicious stories or statements that are damaging to the reputation or goodwill of both Gemcanton as a business entity, and the chairman and CEO as businessmen who have been dealing in the trade of emerald stones for quite a long time with a good name,” read the statement of claim.
The plaintiffs noted that on December 6, last year, the defendants “falsely” published an article titled ‘$50M emeralds smuggled’ which was stating that ‘…more that US $50 million worth of Zambian emeralds have been smuggled and illegally sold with the proceeds banked in Switzerland to avoid taxes, court papers have revealed’.
They lamented that as the result of the said words, their character had been brought into public odium, ridicule, contempt and had been understood not to be good businessmen who should be trusted.
The trio further stated that on January 12 this year, the Daily Nation “falsely and maliciously” published an article titled ‘Russian deported’ stating that ‘…Ndiaye has since failed to refund the $50 million and his partners also claim that despite him having received the money in Switzerland for the Zambian emeralds, he did not pay taxes in Zambia as required by the law…’
The plaintiffs stated that the publication of the said statements falsely painted Ndiaye as a businessman who maliciously avoided paying tax from the sale of emeralds.
They further stated that the Daily Nation falsely published five other articles titled ‘emeralds scandal deepens’, ‘Gemcanton Emerald Mine scandal deepens-two Israelis deported’, ‘I was abducted’, ‘Gemcanton deportation shocker’ and finally: ‘Immigration distances itself from Gemcanton deportation.’
The trio lamented that as a result of those news stories, they had been injured in their credit, reputation, good will, business and had suffered loss and damage.
They claimed that the defendants intended if not restrained, to falsely and maliciously continue with the publication of the same or similar kind of words against them.
They are now seeking general and aggravated damage for libel contained in the seven articles published between December last year and February this year, an injunction to restrain the defendants from making publication of false statements or stories against them, costs and any other reliefs.