Minister of Finance, Situmbeko Musokotwane, has filed a lawsuit against outspoken Lumezi Member of Parliament, Munir Zulu, for defaming him and alleging that he had corruptly received US$250,000 from a named company.
According to documents filed on Wednesday in the Lusaka High Court, Musokotwane alleged Zulu issued defamatory statements at a briefing held in Lusaka, claiming that him and Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing Development Minister, Charles Milupi, had received US$250,000 each from a named firm and were being shielded from investigations.
The defendant is alleged to have uttered the following words, “Right now we have received information, solid information that the current Minister of Finance and National Planning Situmbeko Musokotwane,t ogether with the current Minister of infrastructure and housing development, Milupi, have been appearing at the ACC secretly.
“Initially when the call outs were sent to the two senior cabinet ministers, they avoided going to the ACCA so that they could be questioned. And our associates are telling us that they are being investigated for having recieved US$250,,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 investigations……”
Situmbeko contended that the said words in their natural and ordinary meaning was understood to mean that he was a corrupt leader, unfit to hold a Cabinet Minister’s position and was protected by State House from investigations.
“The malicious statements were made at a time when the plaintiff was also meeting with officials from International Monetary Fund and other development partners seeking a resolution to Zambia’s external debt and severely damaged the plaintiff’s professional reputation and caused him much anguish, embarrassment and distress even among such visiting delegation,” he said.
He complained he had seriously been injured in his reputation and brought into public scandal, odium and contempt as the statement was published on global media platforms such as Facebook and Whatsapp.
Situmbeko is seeking among other remedies an interim injunction preventing Zulu from defaming him, an unequivocal apology and damages.
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