Monday, April 02, 2012

Rupiah sues chief Chisunka

Rupiah sues chief Chisunka
By Namatama Mundia
Mon 02 Apr. 2012, 13:00 CAT

RUPIAH Banda has sued chief Chisunka, claiming damages for defamation and libel over two articles that were published in The Post alleging that he had stolen a lot of money.

According to a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court, Banda is also seeking an injunction to restrain the defendants either jointly or individually from further publishing or causing or authorising to be published the same or similar libellous statements.

Banda sued chief Chisunka Justin Chilufya Haakamwaya following an interview he gave to The Post, which the articles were published both electronically and by hard copy on November 10, 2011 and January 1, 2012 under the headline ‘Rupiah Banda has stolen a lot' and ‘Rupiah Banda was like a monkey in a maize field', respectively.

Banda, through his lawyers Messrs Central Chambers, stated that The Post on the material dates published, printed and distributed false and malicious stories following an interview which chief Chisunka gave them.

He added that the defamatory and false newspaper articles were widely circulated throughout Zambia and the world.

"The words printed and published of the defendant chief Chisunka were false and uttered with malice and reckless disregard for truth," Banda said.

"The natural and ordinary meaning of the words in the article is that the plaintiff is a criminal connected to illegal and corrupt deals. The plaintiff is preparing to cheat the Zambian people of their wealth.''

Banda further stated that the words also meant he was not fit to be a political leader and should not hold any political office.

He also stated that words meant that he had been part of an orchestrated scheme to commit fraud and was a tribalist.

Banda added that the defamatory words complained of carried the sting that he was a criminal involved in corruption and illegal dealings which are of very serious nature.

He further stated that the publication of the libellous and slanderous statements have caused immense damage to his reputation and considerate distress to him and his family.

Banda added that he had been subjected to abuse and ridicule in the public as a consequence of the defamatory words complained of.

He stated that chief Chisunka had his telephone number but chose not to get clarification before causing the publication of the articles.

Banda, however, said none of the allegations were true, adding that he had suffered loss and was entitled to damages.

Banda is also claiming aggravated, exemplary and punitive damages and wants interest on any award that may be given at the current ruling bank rate from the date of the writ until payment for costs.

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