FDD leader Edith Nawakwi has charged that Hakainde Hichilema’s defamation lawsuit against her lacks sufficient particulars to warrant her to defend herself.
This is in a matter where Hichilema has sued Nawakwi for defamation of character, demanding US $3 million as damages for libel for alleging that he illegally benefited during the privatisation exercise by dubiously acquiring a house belonging to Lima Bank.
Hichilema wants Nawakwi to give him $3,000,000 which he has spent on mitigating the impact of her conduct towards him which emanate from the publication of her defamatory utterances.
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.
In an affidavit in support of summons for an order for further and better particulars sworn by her lawyer Chifumu Banda, Nawakwi is requesting for better particulars from Hichilema to defend herself.
“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,” 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.”
In his statement of claim, Hichilema said on August 27, 2020, on Hot FM’s the “hot seat” programme hosted by Zachariah Chavula and on Kwithu FM, Nawakwi caused to be published defamatory words by radio, by live internet streaming and by digital broadcast, with regard to the acquisition of property known as 14/3/A/F488a Serval road, Kabulonga in Lusaka by Hichilema.
Nawakwi 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.
Nawakwi was quoted saying “As a former minister of agriculture, you ask him for my role, we wanted to restructure Lima Bank and we gave Grant Thornton the opportunity to advise government on receivership. They went ahead and did a liquidation for Lima Bank.”
She demanded that Hichilema produces a bid and price for the house he acquired on Serval Road where he was staying until he moved to Muka Muya in Lusaka east.
Nawakwi alleged the acquisition of the Lima Bank house by Hichilema when he was an advisor to government, was theft and corruption.
She said “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.”
The former minister of finance alleged that Hichilema acquired the house on Serval Road without declaring that he was making a misdemeanor (crime).
She added that it was unacceptable for Hichilema to boast around alleging that he had stolen.
However, Hichilema has contended that the defamatory words by Nawakwi in their natural and ordinary meaning were meant to be understood that he was 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.
He said the defamatory words were false and published maliciously as he 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.