SOLICITOR-GENERAL Musa Mwenye has threatened to sue Daily Nation proprietor Richard Sakala for allegedly defaming him in an article which called for his arrest.
This is according to a letter dated December 26, 2013, addressed to Mr Sakala and made available to the Daily Mail.
Mr Mwenye said through his lawyer, Eddie Mwitwa, that the article which appeared in the daily tabloid quoted United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema’s special advisor Douglas Syakalima as saying that the Patriotic Front (PF) secretary general Wynter Kabimba and Mr Mwenye should be arrested.
“They must be arrested and jailed for conniving to undermine and interfere with the independence of the judiciary. The matter on which the two rendered their legal opinion to the acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakaunda was an ongoing court process,” part of the article reads.
It is alleged that Mr Syakalima also stated that the Supreme Court ruling on contempt charges against MMD president Nevers Mumba exposed Mr Mwenye as a PF cadre who was using public resources to conduct political activities for the ruling party.
Mr Mwenye said the article was inaccurate and malicious because he was never given a chance to give his side of the story.
He said the legal opinion concerning members of Parliament (MPs) whose seats were nullified based on corruption was rendered to the Minister of Justice Wynter Kabimba and not the acting Chief Justice.
Mr Mwenye argued that the legal opinion given to Mr Kabimba was a professional view of the interpretation of Section 22 of the Electoral Act Number 12 of 2006.
“The opinion our client gave the Minister of Justice is no different from other opinions that our client is constitutionally obliged to render to Government and other public officials,” part of the letter reads.
Last Monday, Dr Mumba was discharged by the Supreme Court after being found guilty of contempt of court by the Supreme Court.
In delivering his judgment, Supreme Court judge Marvin Mwanamwambwa said the court considered the mitigation and documents provided by the appellant, Leonard Banda, which further assisted Dr Mumba in his mitigation.
Justice Mwanamwambwa said among the documents was a letter from Mr Kabimba in which he wrote about the possible disqualification of persons involved in electoral corruption.
Justice Mwanamwambwa said attached to the letter was a legal opinion by the solicitor general.
He said Mr Kabimba’s letter influenced the judiciary public relations officer to issue a statement on nullified parliamentary seats and consequently for the registrar of the High Court to write to the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to bar candidates whose seats were nullified by the court.
Mr Mwenye has given Mr Sakala three days in which to retract the article and ameliorate his position in view of the alleged defamatory content of the article.
Zambia Daily Mail