By GRACE CHAILE-LESOETSA
ECONOMIC and Equity Party (EEP) president Chulifya Tayali has asked the court for permission to file his defence during the Christmas break in a matter in which he has been sued for defamation by Mr Hakainde Hichilema.
Mr Hichilema, the United Party for National Development (UPND) president is seeking a permanent interim injunction to stop Mr Tayali from talking about his role in the 1990s privatisation process.
Last month, Mr Hichilema sued Mr Tayali in the Lusaka High Court for defamation of character for allegedly saying that he corruptly benefitted from privatisation.
He is seeking damages for libel, aggravated and exemplary damages and an order directing Mr Tayali to retract the defamatory words.
Mr Hichilema said Mr Tayali is a struggling leader of an insignificant political party that attempts to gain its popularity by disparaging him.
He said he has never acted as receiver, manager or liquidator of Lima Bank as alleged by the EEP president nor did he acquire the said farm no. 1924, Kalomo through the said Lima Bank (in liquidation) but bought the same from the estate of the late Samson Siatembo through his heirs and assignees as will be demonstrated at trial.
In an affidavit in support of ex parte summons for leave to file defence during the Christmas break, Mr Tayali’s lawyer Jonas Zimba of Makebi Zulu Advocates stated that the defendant filed his conditional memorandum of appearance on December 3 this year and it was signed on December 8, 2020.
‘That the defendant has since abandoned the intended preliminary issue and seeks to enter appearance and defence, that I am aware that there is need to seek leave before filing pleadings into Court during Christmas break. That I verily believe that it is within the Province of the Court’s jurisdiction to grant this application,” Mr Zimba stated.