Minister denies defaming ex-Permanent Secretary, Songolo; insists he acted correctly


Fisheries and Livestock Minister, Makoze Chikote, has dismissed allegations that he defamed his former Permanent Secretary, contending the words he uttered were fair comment.

This is a matter in which he has been sued at the Lusaka High Court by Dr Anna Songolo for defamation over allegations that she was disorganised, insubordinate and incompetent.

Read more: Finance Minister, Musokotwane, drags lawmaker, Zulu, to court over alleged defamation

Songolo is seeking damages for defamation against the Minister who she accused of uttering injurious remarks against her.

She said he accused her of putting the nation at risk by allowing the movement of livestock from western province to outside the province when there was a ban in place.

She stated that Chikote made the remarks which were published in the News Diggers newspaper under the headline ‘Minister Wants his PS suspended for ‘undermining government’

However, the Minister denied allegations of defamation and contended that he would prove that the office of PS held by Songolo then violated the provisions of the law when they sanctioned the movement of livestock from Western Province to outside the province when the ban was in place contrary to the laws of zambia.

“The defendent will aver that the statement rendered was justified and done in good faith without malice and was made based on reasons that the defendent as a Minister of Fisheries and Livestock has the interest of the livestock sector in Zambia, thus, the comments were made during or in the performance of his duties,” he said.

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