KWACHA Constituency UPND losing candidate Charles Mulenga has submitted to the Lusaka High Court that he only spoke about former Foreign Affairs Minister Joseph Malanji’s issue of not having a grade 12 certificate in court and at the police station.

In his defence, Mulenga stated that the only thing he did was to report Malanji to the police over him not having a grade 12 certificate, and that the same was only done after the court judgement that nullified his parliamentary seat on the basis that he had no certificate.

This is a matter in which Malanji has sued Mulenga, demanding compensation for defamation of character, as well exemplary damages and an order of injunction restraining the defendant or whosoever might be acting on his behalf from making statements that are defamatory about him.

“On or about 2nd June, 2021, whilst addressing a rally at Chisokone Market in Kitwe district on the Copperbelt, the defendant falsely and maliciously issued the following defamatory statement in reference to the plaintiff…. ‘Mr Joseph Malanji forged a grade 12 School Certificate and used the forged Certificate for the nomination exercise with the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ),” read Mlanji’s statement of claim.

“On 27th November, 2021, the defendant lodged a criminal complaint against the plaintiff at Kitwe Police Station wherein he alleged as follows: ‘Hon Joseph Malanji abused the electoral process by presenting a forged grade 12 Certificate and claimed that he was very aware that he has no grade 12 Certificate.”

On December 22, 2021, the Zambia Police Kitwe District Criminal Investigations Office in collaboration with the Examination Council of Zambia cleared Malanji of the allegations of forgery and uttering of Grade 12 Certificate.

However, in his defence, Mulenga stated that he never uttered the words complained of and never held a rally, arguing that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) forbade the holding of campaign rallies during the 2021 general election campaign period and he took the directive seriously.

Mulenga denied holding any gatherings, meetings and or rallies whatsoever saying his only method of campaigning were door-to-door foot campaigns.

He said even his reporting of Malanji to the police followed after the Lusaka High Court held in a petition election judgement that he had no grade 12 certificate.

“That the defendant has never spoken about the plaintiff’s grade 12 certificate anywhere other than before the court and with the Zambia Police whilst lodging the complaint, acts which can never amount to defamation,” he stated.

Mulenga said Malanji had a responsibility to dispel the assumption by simply producing the purported grade 12 certificate as he
purports to have done before the police.

He stated that if there was any damage suffered by Malanji, the same was as a result of the court judgement which was in public domain.

“The defendant has never defamed the plaintiff in any way, therefore, the said plaintiff is not entitled to the reliefs he seeks in this matter,” said Mulenga.