SENIOR Chief Shakumbila of the Sala people of Mumbwa District has dragged Cupriferous Resources Limited and its chief executive officer Katambi Bulawayo to the Lusaka High Court for allegedly defaming him.
Senior Chief Shakumbila (Chikumbe Chibamba) is seeking damages for libel after Bulawayo allegedly wrote a letter accusing him of receiving US $20,000 and K100,000 from his company as a facilitation fee.
He is also seeking aggravated and exemplary damages, an order directing Bulawayo to retract the allegedly defamatory words, as well as costs.
In a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court, recently, senior chief Shakumbila (Chikumbe Chibamba) stated that on August 24, this year, Bulawayo, acting with the authority of Cupriferous Resources Limited, wrote and published or caused to be published defamatory words against him.
He added that the said defamatory words were that, “We observe with concern that after you received US $20,000 and K100,000 from our company as facilitation fee payable to His Royal Highness Senior Chief Shakumbila acting as his representative…We, therefore, write to seek confirmation if the said funds were in fact transmitted to His Royal Highness Senior Chief Shakumbila.”
Senior chief Shakumbila stated that the letter was addressed to one Thomas Mushibwe and copied to third parties without the defendants confirming its veracity and without any proof.
He further stated that the statement was copied to third parties, including ZCCM-IH chief executive officer, Mumbwa District Commissioner, the District Intelligence officer, among others.
The traditional leader stated that as a result, he had suffered contempt, ridicule and embarrassment in the eyes of the third parties copied to.
He stated that in their natural and ordinary meaning, the said words were understood to mean that he had a prior or has an agreement with the defendants upon which they would pay him [Chief Shakumbila] the said sums of money in exchange for his cooperation with the said company in respect of Cupriferous Resources Limited joint venture with Volt Resources of Australia.
Senior chief Shakumbila stated that the statement was also understood to mean that he is in the habit of selling favours in exchange for money, that he engaged Mushibwe as his representative to collect the said money for the purposes of facilitating quiet enjoyment of Cupriferous Resources Limited’s purported project.
He added that he was not even privy to Cupriferous Resources Limited’s purported project and had never consented to it.
The traditional leader added that the words directly damage his reputation as the slanderous words issued by the defendants were now in public domain.