Dr. Musokotwane demands K50 million and unqualified apology from Munir Zulu
FINANCE Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane is demanding an unqualified apology and the sum of K50 million from disgraced Independent Lumezi Member of Parliament, Munir Zulu over his defamatory statement he issued accusing the Minister of having received a bribe of USD250, 0000 from the contractors awarded the contract on the Lusaka – Ndola Road.
The Minister is demanding the immediate retraction of the defamatory statement in its entirety within 24 hours.
This is according to a demand letter by the Minister’s Lawyers, Keith Mweemba and Company, dated 24th March 2023 and received by Mr. Zulu’s Lawyers, Messer’s Makebi Zulu & Co, on Wednesday, 29th March 2023.
“We refer to the above captioned matter and advise that we have been consulted and retained by Honorable Dr. Situmebeko Musokotwane (our client). Our client instructs that we write you in relation to the false, malicious and libelous statement which you made at a media briefing held by concerning our client on or about 21st March, 2023 whereat you uttered and caused to be published false and malicious allegations against our client in the following words, thus:
“Right now we have received information, solid information, that the current Minister of Finance Honourable Musokotwane, together with the current Minister of Infrastructure and Housing Development Honourable Milupi have been appearing at the Anti-Corruption Commission secretly. Initially, when the call outs were sent to the two senior cabinet ministers, they avoided going to ACC so that they could be questioned,” reads the letter in part
The letter further reads, “And our associates are telling us that they are being investigated for having received USD250, 000 each from a named firm. That money went through a bank transfer and we know that State House is aware of this investigation, but we do not know why ACC is not updating the nation on where they are with the investigation. Fellow citizens and colleagues we have also received very disturbing news that Engineer Kutawala is involved in having transferred some amounts of money two days before his appointment as Board Chair through a bank transfer again to Honorable Milupi and the ACC are following up the matter.”
According the Minister’s Lawyers the statement or words were understood to mean that the Minister is a corrupt man who abuses his office, “a man without integrity and a criminal who is unfit to hold the position of Minister of Finance. “
“Your uncouth and defamatory words were published to a wide audience on Facebook, WhatsApp and other platforms and have caused our client great prejudice, distress, reputational damage and injury,” reads the letter in part.
The minister is therefore, according to the letter demanding that the Lumezi MP issues a clear and unqualified public apology to the Minister in a similar fashion to retract the defamatory statement.
The Lawyers have demanded that the Lumezi MP further stops issuing any further statements against the Minister.
“Furthermore having regard to our Client’s position as Minister of Finance, the gravity of the allegations and published to the wide social media audience and considering also that your malicious statements were made at a time when our client was meeting with officials from the International Monetary Fund and other development partners seeking a resolution to Zambia’s external debt, we demand the payment of Zambian Kwacha Fifty Million (K50, 000, 000) sum as compensation for reputational damage and distress.
(Mwebantu, Wednesday, 29th March, 2023)
Max acquitted of unlawful wounding charges
THE Lusaka Magistrate’s Court has set at liberty Patriotic Front sympathizer Maxwell Chongu alias Max in a case he was facing two charges of unlawful wounding.
Lusaka Magistrate Kawama Mwamfuli acquitted Chongu after finding him with no case to answer.
“I find that a premafacie case has not been made out against the accused person sufficiently to require him to make out a defence, the case against him is hereby dismissed,” Magistrate Mwamfuli said this morning.
She also ruled that the prospection’s evidence, including a medical report, had been discredited by the defence during cross examination.
And speaking to journalists after his discharge, Mr Chongu thanked God for the outcome in the December 2021 case and that he has faith in the Judiciary.
“I never went to social media to complain, I never called anyone names, any administration names, because I believe in the judiciary and with the judgment that has come from there it clearly shows that the picture that was portrayed out there about the name Maxwell Chongu is not the actual person,” he said.
Mr Chongu also commended his lawyers for ably representing him in the matter.
“I am overwhelmed with joy and I cannot say much, it’s not easy telling your wife I may go two or three years but I will come back. I was having sleepless nights preparing for the toughest situation and coming here and being told you have been acquitted.
“I want to thank God and I want to thank my lawyers, Jonas Zimba, Francis Daka, Makebi Zulu and I want to thank my wife who has been with me,” he said.
But he was unhappy with the conduct of law enforcers who investigated the issues and manufacturered charges against him without substantiative evidence.
“I only appeal to the law enforcement agencies that let us not rush in bringing cases to court without sufficient evidence because you are making the courts look biased when they are not, you are making the judiciary look like they are protecting certain individuals when they are not”
This is a matter in which Chongu was accused of wounding Richard Sinonge and Innocent Nyambe.
It was alleged that on March 4, 2017, Chongu allegedly unlawfully wounded Sinonge aged 37 by inflicting a deep cut on his left ankle and Nyambe aged 32 a deep cut on the stomach whilst using a machete.
(Mwebantu, Wednesday, 31st May, 2023)
NGOCC protests security protocol that bar women from entering State House with handbags
NON-Governmental Gender Organisation’s Coordinating Council (NGOCC) has protested State House Security protocols that bar women from entering with their handbags.
NGOCC Chairperson Grace Sinkamba revealed in a statement that some women were barred from accessing State House during the commemoration of African Freedom Day because they had nowhere to leave their handbags.
Ms Sinkamba said this amounts to a human rights infringement on women and the girl child.
“Women carry essentials in such bags that form part of their being based on their biological makeup, including items that are necessary for personal hygiene. It is therefore a gross infringement of their rights for the event security to deny women entry into State House with their bags during the last commemoration of African Freedom Day,” she said.
“We noted several women who were denied entry because they had nowhere to leave their handbags. The invitation did not indicate that women were not to enter with their handbags, nor was there any provision for women to leave their handbags in a safe place at the entrance. This disadvantaged women, some of whom were not able to attend the event at all,” she said.
She said it must be emphasised that handbags are part of a woman’s dress, which forms an integral part of their rights to expression and privacy.
(Mwebantu, Wednesday, 31st May, 2023)
Former Presidential advisor nabbed in connection with possession of articles for terrorism
FORMER President Edgar Lungu’s political advisor Chris Zumani Zimba has been charged and arrested for allegedly being in possession of articles for terrorism.
Police spokesperson Rae Hamoonga said Dr Zimba has been jointly charged and arrested with Given Phiri 37 of unknown house number in Misisi Compound, Marlone Banda 36 of Plot number 811 in 12 miles area and Portipher Gwai 44 of Plot number 194/17 Mutendere Compound in Lusaka.
He said the four are alleged to have been Possession of Articles for terrorism or proliferation purposes Contrary to Section 25 of the Anti- terrorism Act number 6 of 2018 as read with Section 2 of the Amended Anti–terrorism Act number 6 of 2023.
“It is alleged that the accused Jointly and whilst acting together with others unknown did possess offensive articles namely Deep 600 and Halothane and others with intent to endanger life,” he said.
Mr Hamoonga said the incident occurred in February,2020 in Petauke District, in Eastern Province.
He said the four are currently detained in Police Custody and will appear in Court soon.
(Mwebantu, Tuesday, 30th May, 2023)