UPND President Hakainde Hichilema has demanded for an apology and retraction of the defamatory words against him issued by Economic and Equity Party Chilufya Tayali or risk paying K 10 million for the pecuniary damages caused to his reputation.
In a demand letter addressed to Mr Tayali by M and Associates, Mr Hichilema said he finds the words published by Mr Tayali during his press briefing held on November 15th,2020 and widely broadcast on his Facebook page and ZNBC television injurious and defamatory.
According to the demand letter,Mr Tayali is said to have during his broadcast caused to publish words saying Mr Hichilema should have been in jail instead of aspiring for Presidency in 2021.
Mr Tayali is also said to have accused Mr.Hichilema of having corruptly benefited from the privatisation of state property such as property number 77/A/609 along poplar Avenue in Chelstone township of Lusaka thus depriving a Mr Jere who at the time was the sitting tenant and former ZIMCO employee.
Mr Hichilema’s lawyers further contend that Mr Tayali did contemptuously cause to publish through the media by making public the said proceedings in the matter of Pheluna Hatembo v Hakainde Hichilema in the matter related to farm 1924 of kalomo knowing very well that the same matter was actively before the High Court of Zambia.
“Suffice to say that as a result of your false and malicious utterances, our client has suffered pecuniary damages and non-pecuniary damages for the severe harm to the reputation that he has built over the years in his political, business and corporate circles including the erosion of the trust he has earned from the electorate in Zambia”, the letter says.
The lawyers further add that it is on the premise that their client has instructed them to demand for the retraction of the mentioned utterances and issue an unequivocal and acceptable apology to be published in the same manner that Mr Tayali published the words complained about by return of post.
This aspect of the demand also includes a demand for an apology from the ZNBC Board for the unfair airing of defamatory material complained about without following the media ethics of fair coverage.
“Our client also demands that you atone for the pecuniary damage you have caused him in the amount of K10, 000, 000.00 and costs in the amount of K350, 000.00 within 7 days from the date of this letter. In default of issuing a retraction and apology as aforesaid, our client shall be constrained to issue legal process and committal proceedings against you in the High Court of Zambia and we are instructed to proceed to render you bankrupt if you fail to settle the judgment debt and costs to be awarded by the Court so that the semblance of your political career shall be ruined forever”, the demand letter reads.
The demand letter which was delivered to Mr Tayali’s lawyers Rabson Malipenga and Associates is copied to Lukona Chambers, Muleza Mwiimbu and Associates, Milner and Paul Advocates,Malambo and Company,Keith Mweemba and Associates, Lusenga Mulongoti and Associates as well as CL Mundia and Company law firms.
(C) UPND MEDIA TEAM