FINANCE minister, Alexander Chikwanda has sued University of Zambia (UNZA) lecturer, Mathias Mpande seeking compensatory damages over his remarks that the minister lacked nationalism and understanding of economics when dealing with mining issues.
Dr Mpande’s remarks against Mr Chikwanda were published in the Post newspaper story headlined “Mpande questions Chikwanda’s mining decisions” which article the minister feels is defamatory.
Mr Chikwanda has since asked the Lusaka High Court to order Dr Mpande to pay him damages for libel and other relief that the court may deem fit.
He has stated in a writ of summons filed by his lawyers Mulenga Mundashi Kasonde legal practitioners that he was at all material times a business executive, politician and serving as the minister of Finance of the Government of the Republic of Zambia.
Mr Chikwanda said that on about August 5, 2014, Dr Mphande, who is a mineral economist and lecturer at the School of Mines at UNZA, caused to be written and published on the front page and on page 4 of the Post newspaper an article slandering his character.
He said the remarks by Dr Mpande, who is also senior chief Mpande of the Mambwe-Lungu people, in the story were in their natural and ordinary meaning understood to mean that he was unpatriotic Zambian.
Mr Chikwanda said that the words were understood to mean that he was ill-educated in economics, ignorant and therefore was not qualified to serve as minister of Finance.
He further stated that the words were also understood to mean that he was corrupt, unscrupulous and has obtained gratification from mining houses operating in Zambia in exchange for granting favourable tax incentives to the mining houses.
Mr Chikwanda said that because of Dr Mpande’s remarks, his reputation has been seriously damaged and he has suffered considerable hurt, distress and embarrassment.
Times of Zambia