FDD president Edith Nawakwi and her lawyer and vice president Chifumo Banda say they don’t understand the defamation lawsuit by UPND’s Hakainde Hichilema. Surely even a halfwit can understand such a straight forward matter.
Maybe we simplify it for the sake of Nawakwi’s lawyers to understand then hopefully they can explain it to her, slowly or in a local language she understands.
Facts: On 27 August 2020, Edith Nawakwi went on some radio called Hot Fm and told listeners that Hichilema stole a house belonging to defunct Lima Bank.
She further said Hichilema was lucky not to have been booked by the Anti-Corruption Commission with regards to the country’s privatisation process and urged him to keep quiet.
On the property known as 14/3/A/F488a Serval road, Kabulonga, Nawakwi said she was the minister of Finance when Hichilema stole the house so she has documentary evidence to prove that. She said Hichilema was supposed to be sent to a prison for young criminals, Katombora reformatory.
Using her own mouth, Nawakwi said that, “to the extent that Grant Thornton was a receiver for Lima Bank and Hakainde alienated a house to himself, that is theft, he is lucky if he has not gone to Katombora. He is lucky if the law has not visited him.”
Hichilema went to court to defend his reputation. He wants Nawakwi to give him $3,000,000 which he has spent on mitigating the negative impact of Nawakwi’ statement that he is a corrupt thief who stole a house and abused the privatisation process.
He also wants an injunction restraining Nawakwi whether by herself, servants or agents or otherwise from further publishing or causing to be published or broadcast the defamatory words or similar.
Hichilema’ s lawyers said that the defamatory words by Nawakwi in their natural and ordinary meaning were meant to be understood that Hichilema is a thief, a corrupt person, a person of questionable character and that he is guilty of numerous offences relating to the dissolution of Lima Bank and the sale of its assets when in fact not.
Hichilema said the defamatory words were false and published maliciously as he, Hichilema has never acted as receiver, manager or liquidator of Lima Bank contrary to what was alleged by Nawakwi.
Hichilema argued that Subdivision 14/3/A/F488a, Serval Road, Kabulonga, Lusaka never belonged to Lima Bank prior to him acquiring it as alleged by Nawakwi.
“Contrary to the innuendo created by the defendant when she uttered the defamatory words, the plaintiff acquired the subject house in an arm’s length transaction two years prior to the commencement of the process of winding up of Lima Bank,” he stated. “The plaintiff did not conduct himself inappropriately or commit any criminal offence in relation to the acquisition of the subject house as alleged by the defendant.” Hichilema stated that the words uttered by Nawakwi were malicious as himself and her were competitors in politics aspiring for the presidency.
Now, defamation is the oral or written communication of a FALSE statement about another that unjustly HARMS that other’s REPUTATION. Most people of sound mind know that. We expect lawyers. especially state counsels, to understand this first-year module at any reputable law school.
But Nawakwi and her lawyers don’t understand this? More shocking is the claim that the suit does not have sufficient particulars. Really? But all the details of what Hichilema is seeking all here, simplified.
“I have read a letter of demand from the plaintiff’s advocates to which Messrs Malambo and Company and I have had opportunity to peruse the writ of summons and statement of claim hereto,”Nawakwi’s lawyer Chifumo Banda said. “The perusal of the statement of claim reveals that the same lacks sufficient particulars to enable the defendant to settle a meaningful defence. I have authored a letter to the plaintiff’s advocates requesting for further and better particulars.”
This is what is called wasting the court’s time.
But anyway, we are sure the court understands and will explain to Nawakwi and her lawyers.