Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) president Eddie Mwitwa has asked the Lusaka High Court to enter judgement in his favour in a matter where he has sued Tutwa Ngulube for defamation of character, for not having entered an appearance or defence.
In this matter, Mwitwa has sued Ngulube, who is Kabwe Central PF member of parliament, claiming damages for defamation of character for accusing him of being used by UPND to fight political battles.
Mwitwa is seeking aggravated and exemplary damages for libel and slander.
He is further seeking damages for inconvenience, mental stress and anguish, as well as, interest on any sums awarded from the date of writ to the date of full settlement, costs and any other relief the court may deem fit.
According to an interlocutory judgement in default of appearance and defence filed by his lawyers, Mwitwa stated that Ngulube had not entered an appearance or defence in the matter.
He stated that he had produced proof of service but that the latter had not delivered any defence.
“The plaintiff having produced proof of service of the writ of summons and statement of claim upon the defendant and the defendant not having appeared to the writ of summons and statement of claim herein and not having delivered any defence. It is this day adjudged that interlocutory judgement in default of appearance and defence be and is hereby entered in favour of the plaintiff and against the said defendant for damages for slander and libel, damages for the inconvenience, mental stress and anguish suffered by the plaintiff as a result of the defendant’s slander and libel to be assessed by the deputy registrar together with interest. And that the costs of and incidental to this action be for the plaintiff to be taxed in default of agreement,” stated Mwitwa.
In his statement of claim, Mwitwa had observed that Ngulube’s words had been circulating on social media platforms like Facebook, Whatsapp and were reiterated and published on internet websites and newspapers such as the ‘Lusaka Times’ in an Article titled ‘Tutwa Leads Call for Impeachment of Current LAZ executive’ dated August 15, 2019, as well as, Zambian Observer and Zambia Reports.
He stated that Ngulube accused him of being paid by a named institution to fight the PF government and also embarrass it.
Mwitwa stated that in their natural meaning the words uttered by Ngulube meant that he was an unethical and an unprofessional lawyer.
Mwitwa stated that Ngulube refused to apologise for the alleged defamatory words when he requested him to do so and instead dared him to institute court actions if he was man enough.
He lamented that as a result, he had been severely injured in his profession, law practice and social standing, character, credibility and reputation and had suffered considerable distress and embarrassment, inconvenience and contempt from the general public and from members of LAZ.