KOOK College of International Studies Limited has sued Zambia-Somali Friendship Association national coordinator Ally Firin in the Lusaka High Court for allegedly accusing it of having been involved in human trafficking of some Somali trainees.

According to a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court, Monday, the College claimed that Firin on or about May 28, 2019, falsely and maliciously caused to be written and published on page five of the Zambia Daily Mail newspaper, [an article] concerning the college in the way of its business of providing education services in Zambia.

It stated that the said article stated that:

“We suspect it is a case of human trafficking and nothing to do with studies and business. We would have been aware of their presence (Somalians), but we only learnt about it from the Daily Mail, Mr Firin said. Mr Firin urged the security wings to establish why the Somalis fled and where they are heading to as they can be a security risk. We are law-abiding members of the Somali community in Zambia, and through our network, we get to know who comes (from Somalia). We are not aware about those people and this makes us suspect that it is a case of human trafficking, he said.”

Kook College stated that the said words in their material and ordinary meaning meant and were understood to mean that the college had been involved in human trafficking of Somali trainees that went missing from the hotel in Lusaka.

It added that the said words meant and were also understood to mean that the college had nothing to do with studies, but was rather engaging in illegal and criminal activities.

“By reason of the premises, the plaintiffs (college) have been greatly injured in their credit, character and reputation and had been brought into public ridicule, scandal and contempt and has suffered damage. Further, the defendant published the said words out of malevolence or spite towards the plaintiff company,” Kook College stated.

It stated that Firin intends to continue the publication of the same or similar charges against it.

The college is now seeking an order compelling the defendant to retract the statements made and to cease and desist from making any further false and defamatory statements.

It also wants an order compelling the defendant to make a public apology to it and damages in the sum of US $250,000.

In June, last year, Lusaka Magistrate Felix Kaoma set free Islamic Supreme Council of Zambia president Suzyo Zimba and two Somalis who were accused of giving false information to an Immigration officer and aiding and abetting entry of 11 Somalis in the country.

Zimba was jointly-charged with Egeh Hussein and Omar Mohamud with 13 counts of giving false information to an immigration officer, harbouring a prohibited immigrant and aiding and abetting illegal immigrants.

The three were alleged to have procured immigration visas for 11 Somalis by purporting that they were visiting Zambia to attend an Inter-Cultural Competence Course at Kook College of International Studies when in fact not.

It was also alleged that the three on the same dates, knowingly aided, abetted and assisted: Ifra Hassan; Shafi Haliwo; Abdi Hassan; Mohamud Hassan; Mahad Ibrahim; Ahmed Fara; Abdifatah Yusuf; Ali Fara; Faysal Hassan; Abdishakur Mohamed and Hassan Mohamed, entry and remaining in Zambia

But Magistrate Kaoma acquitted the accused persons, saying it was shocking that the State would take the accused persons to court without proper investigations.