FORMER minister of health Dr Chitalu Chulifya has written to the Attorney General and the Anti-Corruption Commission demanding US$50 million in damages over his “malicious prosecution”.
Dr Chilufya, who has written through his lawyers from Tutwa Ngulube and Company, said the demand must be met within three days, commencing November 9, failure to which he would take legal action.
The law firm stated that Dr Chilufya demanded that the letter be issued in respect of the criminal proceedings which were maliciously commenced, conducted and carried out in Lusaka where he was arrested and charged on the allegation that he was involved in corrupt practices, when in fact not.
The firm stated that they were aware that the ACC proceeded to issue several statements concerning the said proceedings alleging that their client had been arrested for corrupt practices.
“You may wish to note that our client was arrested for different offences and prosecuted unsuccessfully until he was acquitted by the Lusaka Magistrate Court. Our client has always insisted that he was innocent as was confirmed by the courts when he was acquitted of all allegations. The statements by the commission were carried widely in both local and international media and can still be viewed and read from several internet platforms and websites. For the avoidance of doubt, we refer you to the Google search engine which generates close to 21,000 results upon us conducting a search on the broadcasting of our client’s arrest,” the letter read.
“Our client is a medical doctor of more than 22 years’ experience, a practitioner of international repute and a globally respected authority, facilitator and advocate of the WHO agenda of better health systems for universal health coverage. He has participated and spoken at various fora under the UN, AU, WHO and many others, he has a clean record and he has never been involved in any of the scandals as alleged by the commission. Our client has had his reputation damaged both local and international as a result of the conduct of the commission and the contumelious desire to undertake malicious prosecution as a result of which he has suffered loss and damage.”
The firm stated that in the past year, Dr Chilufya was subjected to abuse in conventional local and international media as well as social media, which caused further damage to his global stature as a respectable medical practitioner, politician and international facilitator of various health programs.
“Our client’s reflection on the malicious statements levied against him shows that had both the commission and the state been diligent in their dealings; they would not have caused such damage to him or even attempted to maliciously prosecute him as they did,” the firm stated.
They further noted that they were in possession of an audio where former ACC acting director general insisted on prosecuting the matter despite him being innocent.
“Our client has passed on to us an audio recording, he got from social media, which is now in our possession, wherein a team of supposed ACC officers and investigators can be heard warning the then acting director general of the commission, Ms Rose Khuzwayo that in their investigations, our client was innocent but she insisted on going ahead with the prosecutions despite advice that our client was in fact innocent,” they stated.
“Our client has instructed that despite being fully aware of his innocence, the ACC and the state proceeded to charge, arrest and try and defame him. We are of the view that the estimated number of people that view our client as corrupt, a result of the widely broadcast malicious statements, arrest and prosecution by the Commission, is alarmingly high both locally and internationally yet our client is but an innocent man as established by the courts.”
They stated that Dr Chilufya demanding damages to the sum of US$50 million for malicious prosecution and defamation as well as the injury caused to his professional reputation which he created over the years and now stands destroyed by the state’s actions
Further, the firm stated that the said demand should be met within three days of the letter, failure to which, they would proceed to seek redress before the appropriate forum.
Dr Chilufya suggested that to avoid unnecessary litigations, the state should proceed by way of a public apology and also propose terms of payment for the demanded amount