THE Lusaka High Court has reserved ruling on whether Lusaka lawyer Vincent Malambo can join the defence team in a matter in which President Michael Sata has sued the Daily Nation newspaper for defamation of character.
Judge Florence Lengalenga reserved the ruling to Tuesday after both parties augmented on why they wanted the court to side with their submissions.
The matter was held in Ms Justice Lengalenga’s chambers yesterday.
Mr Malambo insisted in his submission to be allowed to be joined in the matter because he was injured by Mr Sata’s allegations when he gave evidence in court that the lawyer could have been dropped from handling the Development Bank of Zambia verses Zambian Airways for incompetence.
But Mr Sata’s lawyers said Mr Malambo could not be joined in the case because the President enjoyed immunity.
They asked the court to dismiss Mr Malambo’s request contending that he had no interest in the case because the case had something to do with the President’s defamation, which arose from an article published by the Daily Nation.
This is in a matter in which Mr Sata has sued Daily Nation proprietor Richard Sakala and University of Zambia (UNZA) lecturer Choolwe Beyani over an article published on May 16, 2012 entitled “Malambo’s removal criminal.”
Mr Sata personally appeared in court last month where he testified and denied the allegations leveled against him in the article.
He said during the trial that Mr Malambo could have been dropped from handling the case due to incompetence and not that he (Mr Sata) had something to do with the issue.
Mr Sata’s lawyers said that the statements made by Mr Sata in court during the course of judicial proceedings are not actionable, and can therefore not be the basis of an application for joinder by Mr Malambo.
But Mr Malambo’s lawyer Eric Silwamba insisted that Mr Sata is not above the law and that he must suffer the consequences of appearing in court personally.
Ms Justice Lengalenga later reserved ruling on whether or not to join Mr Malambo to Tuesday next week before hearing of the main matter.
Times of Zambia