Power and Politics

Minister Nkombo sues Patriots for Economic Progress leader, Tembo, for K40 million over arson accusation


Local Government and Rural Development Minister, Gary Nkombo, has taken Patriots for Economic Progress (PEP) president, Sean Tembo, to the Lusaka High Court, seeking K40 million in damages for accusing him of arson.

This relates to a fire incident at Mambilima Member of Parliament, Jean Chisenga’s property in Lilayi on May 20, 2024.

On May 22, 2024, Tembo allegedly caused a news item to be broadcast and published by Diamond Television, in which he stated: “Gary Nkombo made a specific threat, quoted in the media, saying Hon. Jean Chisenga would not go unpunished, and now we have seen Hon. Jean Chisenga punished.”

Nkombo argued that these words implied he was guilty of arson, a felony under Zambian law.

Read more: Party leader, M’membe, faces High Court trial, may get 25 years jail term if found guilty of espionage

On May 31, 2024, the plaintiff’s lawyer served the defendant and Diamond Television with a letter demanding a retraction, apology, and damages for the slanderous publication.

While Diamond Television apologized and retracted the statement on May 31, Tembo refused to comply with the plaintiff’s demands.

Nkombo claimed that Tembo’s publication was malicious, knowing or ought to have known the true cause of the fire and aimed to disparage him as a politician and minister.

As a result, he. Slimed that his reputation had been severely injured, causing considerable distress, anxiety, embarrassment, and loss.

The plaintiff is seeking K40 million in special damages, general damages, aggravated damages, and interest.

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