Soccer administrator Simataa Simataa has filed a notice of appeal in the Court of Appeal against the Lusaka High Court’s decision to grant Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) president Andrew Kamanga an interim injunction prohibiting Simataa from defaming him.
Simataa has further asked the Lusaka High Court to stay execution of the ruling, pending determination of his appeal.
In this matter, Kamanga had sued Simataa for defamation of character, claiming damages for alleging that he (Kamanga) tried to bribe him into working for the Association in exchange for the lifting of his ban from all soccer-related activities.
According to Kamanga in his statement of claim, the words Simataa uttered and caused to be published in News Diggers! newspaper, in their natural and ordinary meaning, meant and were understood to mean that the FAZ president committed and was guilty of bribery or attempt, which was a crime under the Anti-Corruption Act No. 3 of 2012 and the penal code chapter 87 of the laws of Zambia.
And in a ruling dated July 31, 2019, High Court Judge Catherine Phiri granted Kamanga an interim injunction prohibiting Simataa from defaming him.
She directed Simataa by himself, his servants, agents or otherwise to immediately cease and desist from uttering defamatory statements against Kamanga, the same as or similar to those contained in the statement of claim or otherwise until determination of the matter or further order of the court.
But being dissatisfied, Simataa intends to appeal to the Court of Appeal against the whole ruling.
In a memorandum of appeal filed in the Court of Appeal, Simataa stated that he intended to appeal on grounds that the learned judge erred in law and fact when she refused to adjourn the matter, pending determination of preliminary issues raised by him, which was filed in accordance with the law and, therefore, the same ought to have taken precedence before the main matters.
He further argued that justice Phiri erred in law and fact when she proceeded to grant an order of interim injunction on the pretext that Simataa did not oppose the application, when in fact it was the duty of Kamanga to demonstrate irreparability as it was trite that the onus lies on the part alleging.
Simataa stated that the learned judge erred in law and fact when she relied on assertions by Kamanga to the effect that the words allegedly used by him that Kamanga wanted to bribe him by offering him a job in exchange of uplifting his ban, is an offence under the penal code and the Anti-Corruption Act when in fact there was no such offence in the said two acts.
Meanwhile, Simataa asked the Lusaka High Court to stay execution of the ruling, pending determination of his appeal.
In an affidavit in support of ex-parte summons for an order to stay execution of the ruling, pending determination of the appeal, Simaata argued that his appeal had meritorious chances of succeeding in that the order made was a global one, contrary to the rules that govern grant of injunctions.
“That the said order clearly borders on infringing my freedom of expression, especially that the plaintiff did not prove that the alleged defamatory words are likely to be repeated against him, which is another important aspect in the grant of the injunction. I verily believe that my appeal is likely to succeed. That for as long as the said injunction is not stayed, I’m constrained to exercise my freedom of expression,” read the affidavit.
Simataa further stated that Kamanga’s advocates had written a letter to him demanding the sum of K80,000 for costs, which if the order was not stayed, Kamanga may proceed to execute on him.
“I indulge this court to grant an order for stay of the said ruling pending determination of the appeal,” read the affidavit further.