UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema has sued and is demanding K1, 000, 000 (One million plus interest) from each of the following journalists working for the government controlled Times of Zambia and Daily Mail:
Bestone Ngonga (editor of the notorious Times of Zambia), Passy Hachizo (a stringer for Times of Zambia), Rebeca Mushota, Nebert Mbewe (Editor of Daily Mail) and Munide Zulu of Daily Mail.
The suit arises out of lies created by the PF that HH questioned a certain chief from Southern province for welcoming Chama (who claims to be Bemba), and speaking in Bemba. Apparently the chief in question does not even know how to speak basic Bemba and she has already refuted the allegations.
PF secretary General Davies Chama and Sunday who created the lies have also been sued for passing running commentaries on the lies along with Times of Zambia and Daily Mail as institutions. Lusaka Province youth chairperson Kennedy Kamba who also made himself available to add more libel has been sued. The Watchdog is reliably informed that Chilufya Tayali who claims to have a recording of the fabrications will soon receive his separate summons.
HH has asked the High Court to order all the perpetrators of tribalism to pay K1 million each in damages and to restrain the same purveyors of libel from publishing similar defamatory words.
The Times of Zambia is sued for articles published on December 28, 2015, in which the newspaper published a concoction under the headline “PF slams tribal remarks” and another libel headlined “Refute tribal remarks HH told “, on December 27, 2015.
The Zambia Daily Mail is sued for malice it published on December 27, 2015 under the headline ‘Its shameful to welcome Bembas-HH and another one on December 28, 2015 alleging that HH is not a good leader because he has continued to issue tribal remarks.
One can not help but feel sorry for the journalists that have been sued for fighting other people’s political battles. Passsy Hachizo for example of Times of Zambia, the little fellow is not even in full Time employment, gets no salary from Times of Zambia and stays in a one room in Chawama. Sometimes he walks from Chawama to town and back, without eating lunch, as he can’t afford the fares for a minibus. Yet, the libelous article was written by Times Editor Ngonga but put the name of the stranded journalist.
Rebeca Mushota and Munide Zulu are no better. Though they are fully employed, they depend on ‘being nice’ to mail sources to keep ends meet as the money from Times and Daily male is not enough to sustain them in a month.
As for Nebert Mbewe, (a colleague we have had some respect for) and Bestone Ngonga, it is difficulty to understand why they can’t learn from the predecessors such as Leonard Kantumoya, who despite being kicked out of Daily Mail still has court cases on his head due to the libel he ran on behalf of politicians who have since left office. The positions of editor for these two worthless government newspapers are linked to the people in power, once they lose power, you also pack, but the court cases follow you to the village or wherever you will be hassling from.
The same is true for junior journalists, such cases can take even ten years to resolve but even if you are fired, the lawyers will still be on you. Your newspaper can probably pay your lawyers now but if you lose the case, you pay from your pocket.
Bestone Ngonga is some incompetent fool who ran down Media Trust Fund after stealing equipment meant for community radio stations.