Shicitaza farmer sues colleague for defamation

A FARMER of Shicitaza village of chief Kaingu in Central Province has sued his colleague in the Lusaka High Court for alleging that he is a wizard.

Physical Muntanga, who has also cited chief Kaingu of Itumbi Palace in Itezhi-tezhi district as the second defendant, is seeking damages for defamation of character from Humphrey Muntanga for alleging that he was behind the latter’s illness and had caused him misfortune.

In his statement of claim, Physical said on August 6, 2020 he received summons from headman Shicitaza under chief Kaingu which directed him to appear before the said headman on August 11 to answer to allegations that were not disclosed in the summons.

He said he appeared before Shicitaza to answer to the summons as directed but the matter was adjourned to August 16.

Physical said on August 16 he appeared before headman Shicitaza’s committee which informed him that he had been summoned by Humphrey Muntanga.

He explained that during deliberations of the committee, Humphrey claimed that he had obtained summons against him because he (Physical) was a wizard who had been responsible for his illness and misfortune.

“The first defendant (Humphrey) also testified that he had evidence of the witchcraft practices of the plaintiff as he was told this information by a witchdoctor called Kalidundu in 2017. The first defendant also testified before the Headman’s Committee that the plaintiff had bewitched him in bedwetting and that the first defendant’s wives have been dreaming that his cattle had been attacking them in dreams,” Physical said.

Physical said Humphrey also informed the headman’s committee that he had been failing to have consortium and conjugal rights with his two wives as a result of being bewitched by him (Physical).

He said Humphrey’s statements against him before a full panel of the headman’s committee accusing him of being a wizard were false and malicious.

Physical contended that the words in their natural and ordinarily meaning were intended and actually understood by ordinary minded people to mean that he is a killer and a danger to society who does not deserve to be alive let alone to live in Shicitaza village.

He said the headman’s committee ruled that Humphrey and him must proceed to go and divine with another witchdoctor to prove whether or not he (Physical) was a wizard, which ruling he declined on grounds that it was not only illegal but his religious beliefs did not allow consulting witchdoctors.

Physical said the committee referred the dispute to chief Kaingu’s committee for further deliberations.

“Chief Kaingu presided over the dispute and Humphrey in the headman’s committee explained to the chief’s committee that he had summoned the plaintiff on the grounds that he was a wizard as this was the information he got from a witchdoctor called Kalidundu in 2017,” Physical explained.

He said Humphrey’s statements were false and malicious calculated at bringing his name into ridicule and disrepute as the false information of witchcraft spread like bush fire in the Kaingu chiefdom.

Physical further contended that as a result of the false allegations made against him, he has suffered severe damage and injury to his good reputation.

He wants the court to further declare that divination is illegal in Zambia. He also wants costs, interest and any other relief the court may deem fit.

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