HONEYBEE Pharmacy Limited has threatened to sue News Diggers! Media Limited for libel over the publication of “false” articles against them regarding distribution of defective condoms and drugs.
In a letter addressed to the Diggers managing editor, Honeybee’s lawyer Tutwa Ngulube stated that on several dates, Diggers! had “maliciously” published several articles without verification from Honeybee.
Ngulube complained on behalf of his client that News Diggers! further published an article that Honeybee had supplied defective condoms when in fact not.
“We have been retained by Honey Bee Pharmacy Limited of Lusaka to represent them in this matter and are kindly, therefore, note our interest. Our clients have instructed us that it has come to their attention that on several dates including the 11th January, 2021, did maliciously publish several articles of and concerning our clients business without verification or getting balanced. In one of the articles titled: ‘years of HIV/AIDS fight lost to leaky Honeybee Condoms,’ in your newspaper, our clients complain that in your said article you clearly attacked their business and you have alleged without facts or truth that our clients obtained the tender with dubious means when in fact not and there is no evidence to support those malicious allegations,” Ngulube stated in the letter delivered in Lusaka, Friday morning.
“Our clients further state that you have alleged that our clients are the ones that supplied the defective condoms when in fact not. Our clients deny your allegations and state that they have never supplied any defective condoms. Our clients state that they have a certificate of acceptance issued by Medical Stores Limited, which shows that the goods they supplied were not defective. This certificate was issued in line with the contract.”
Ngulube, who is also Kabwe Central PF member of parliament, alleged that the news stories published by the paper were without truth and had in turn caused commercial and reputational damage to Honeybee Pharmacy.
“Further, had you carried out the appropriate investigations or had you taken time to speak to our clients, you would have found there is actual documentation proving that the supplies and medication provided by our clients were actually certified upon arrival by the procuring entity. Our clients have noticed that the contents of your articles are without any truth whatsoever and have in turn caused commercial and reputational damage to our clients. We are instructed [to] write to remind you that you have a duty to publish truthful and honest works as the contrary will amount to a breach of laws,” stated Ngulube.
“Further, as instructions from our clients, we demand for an apology and retraction of false, malicious and unverifiable statements contained in your articles within the next 48 hours of this letter, failure to which our clients instruct that we should institute legal proceedings against yourselves for libel and malicious falsehood. Should we not hear from you within the stated time, we shall proceed to commence proceedings against yourselves in the courts of law. Kindly let us have your response to this letter as stated.”