GBM sues M’membe for K14bn

Fred M’memnbe in the middle with a cap
Fred M’memnbe in the middle with a cap

KASAMA Member of Parliament Geoffrey Mwamba has sued Post Newspapers editor-in-chief Fred Mmembe for libel, demanding K14 billion and an injunction restraining the newspaper from publishing defamatory articles against him.
According to a statement of claim filed in the High Court, Mr Mwamba said The Post ran a story which alleged that he had interests in three companies that bid for a contract with Zesco.
“Other companies, according to the document that bid for the Zesco contract and where Geoffrey Mwamba, who is Kasama Central Member of Parliament (MP) allegedly has interest, include Engilex, whose bid price for the contract was K14 billion, Premia Supplies Limited with a bid price of US$337,500 and Astro Holdings Limited with a bid price of US$405,000,” part of the article reads.
He said the article was titled ‘Police question GBM’s daughter Sibongile over Zesco deal’ which appeared in The Post newspaper on February 5 this year.
Mr Mwamba said the words mean or were calculated to mean that he is a corrupt businessman and exerted undue influence in acquiring the contract by having an interest in the companies that bid.
He said the words in their natural and ordinary meaning meant that he engaged in unfair business practices for the purpose of disadvantaging other bidders and that he is dishonest and untrustworthy.
Mr Mwamba said the article was meant to disparage him and cause injury to his personal and professional reputation and that he is unfit to hold public office as MP.
“The said words were understood to mean that besides Arizona Marketing and Distribution Limited, there exists a document that suggests that I had interests in the named companies that bid when in fact not,” he said.
Mr Mwamba said that he wrote a letter to the Post Newspapers explaining that he had no interests in the said companies and requested the paper to publish a retraction and apology.
He said the defendants failed, neglected or refused to render an apology and retraction despite being appraised with the facts and insisted on maintaining the story as published.
Mr Mwamba said the defendants published the words complained of maliciously and knew very well that the words or allegations against him were false or reckless.
He asked the court to restrain the paper from publishing or causing to publish similar defamatory words saying that his reputation has been seriously damaged and that he has suffered ridicule and embarrassment.
Mr Mwamba is claiming damages for libel, exemplary damages, K14 billion damages for malicious falsehood and an injunction restraining the defendants, whether by themselves, their agents, servants or otherwise, from further publishing or causing to publish defamatory words against him.