The Lusaka High Court has entered a judgment in default of appearance and defence against Kabwe Central PF member of parliament Tutwa Ngulube in a case where Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) president Eddie Mwitwa has sued him for defamation of character.
According to an interlocutory judgement in default of apperance and defence granted in favour of Mwitwa by the High Court deputy registrar, the court has directed Ngulube to award Mwitwa aggravated and exemplary damages for slander and libel, which would be assessed by the deputy registrar together with interest.
“The plaintiff (Mwitwa) having produced proof of service of the writ of summons and statement of claim upon the defendant (Ngulube) 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,” read the interlocutory judgement signed by the High Court deputy registrar.
In this matter, Mwitwa had sued Ngulube claiming damages for defamation of character for accusing him of being used by UPND to fight political battles.
Mwitwa was seeking aggravated and exemplary damages for libel and slander.
He was 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.
Last month, Mwitwa asked the Lusaka High Court to enter an interlocutory judgement in default of appearance and defence against the PF deputy chief whip for failing to file defence in the matter.
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.