JUSTICE minister Given Lubinda has discontinued his law suit against Republican Progressive Party leader James Lukuku in which he sued the latter for defamation of character for alleging that he is a foreigner who was in the forefront of formulating Constitution (Amendment) Bill No.10 of 2019 and questioning his patriotism to the country.
This is according to a notice of discontinuance filed in the High Court principal registry.
“Take notice that the plaintiff has of this date wholly discontinued this action,” read the notice.
In this matter, Lubinda wanted damages for libel and an order of interlocutory injunction restraining Lukuku, his servants and agents from publishing similar libelous and malicious videos and articles relating to him.
In his statement of claim, the Kabwata PF member of parliament stated that sometime in June this year, Lukuku recorded himself in an untitled video in which he confidently alleged that Lubinda was a foreigner.
“The defendant particularly stated as follows: ‘When you look at Given Lubinda you should ask him before you start talking about Bill 10; where is your National Registration Card? It’s going to be interesting for you to check on the National Registration Card of Given Lubinda so that you can ascertain if that person has got the nation at heart. When you meet Lubinda, before he talks about Bill 10, ask him who is his chief, chief wake ni ndani? The other question that you are supposed to ask Given Lubinda is, what’s the name of his father and mother?’”
“And ask him what kind of a nationality he is because some of these people you don’t even know ku sukulu kwa mene bana yenda ngati ni kuti (you don’t know the school Lubinda went to). They have formulated a new Bill 10 nomba ewo bepwishe ni nani pali iyo Bill 10 iyo apangile iya new (who did they ask when formulating a new Bill). Why is it that at every corner it is foreigners invading this country? But we know of people that have got questionable nationalities. They are at the forefront of formulating Bill 10. Cino icalo democracy nga ya onaika ifi fine balefwaya ukonaula Parliament. Once Parliament is destroyed Given Lubinda is not going to be affected by any chaos that we can have in this country because even his children don’t stay in Zambia’.”
Lubinda stated that the said words in their natural and ordinary meaning meant and had been understood to mean that: he was an imposter, a fraud, a cheater and was not patriotic to Zambia, does not care for Zambians, he employed deceitful means to be nominated for election as
member of parliament, and to be appointed as a minister in government, and that he steals from Zambians.
Lubinda lamented that the said words were also understood to mean that he did not care for Zambians, he forged or fabricated his primary and secondary school certificates, and did not respect land alienation procedures.
He said the video was widely published and circulated on social media, and electronic media in general, within and outside the jurisdiction.
Lubinda said the words complained of were false and were maliciously published by Lukuku without lawful excuse.
He said politics was not about character assassination but about putting forth developmental ideas and policies adding that freedom of expression and all media freedoms were not a passport to attacking private lives, and generally character assassination, of political opponents, and accordingly the aforesaid freedoms were not absolute.
“On the basis of the foregoing, in the estimation of ordinary and right thinking members of the public, the plaintiff has suffered, and continues to suffer scandal, ridicule, odium, contempt, and embarrassment generally,” Lubinda said.
He was claiming an order of permanent injunction, punitive and exemplary damages, interest on the said damages and costs.