In an unprecedented move, President Michael Sata has personally gone to the Lusaka High Court to testify in a matter in which he Sata, has sued the Daily Nation Newspapers for defamation.
President Michael Sata was by 11 hours local time at the Lusaka High Court accompanied by hundreds of Patriotic Front cadres.
Sata sued the Daily Nation over a story in which former University of Zambia Lecturer Choolwe Beyani accused government of criminality for removing Vincent Malambo as Development Bank of Zambia Lawyer. This was in a matter in which DBZ sued Zambian Airways owned by Sata’s friends for failure to pay back K14 Billion.
According to the Zambian constitution, a President enjoys immunity and cannot be compelled to appear in court.
If there is such a matter, good practice would have been for Sata to wait until his presidency expires to pursue this private matter.
But since Sata has taken himself to court, it means that the Newspaper’s lawyers can quiz the President in any way they see ditto defend their clients as long as the judge allows.
The lawyers have the right to cross-examine Sata and ask him any questions including his mental capacity to remember things.
‘Moreover, Sata has now set a very bad and dangerous precedence whereby any person with a court case that involves the Head of State or government can subpoena the president to answer questions,’ said one lawyer.