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Journalist sues Lusambo for defamation

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  • Cheelo Katambo, who works for the UPND, denied the assertions by Mr Lusambo that he was the proprietor, editor or an ardent follower of the online publication known as Koswe.

By GRACE CHAILE-LESOETSA

LUSAKA Province Minister Bowman Lusambo has been sued by a freelance journalist for alleged defamation.

Cheelo Katambo, who works for the UPND, denied the assertions by Mr Lusambo that he was the proprietor, editor or an ardent follower of the online publication known as Koswe.

This is contained in his statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court on Wednesday.

Mr Katambo said that on January 15 this year, the Minister published defamatory statements against him which he posted on Facebook.

He stated that Mr Lusambo alleged that he and his cohorts at Koswe with the full support of UPND president Hakainde Hichilema should be assured that their days of publishing lies were numbered.

Mr Katambo said the words were libelous as they were calculated to mean that he was a proprietor of an online publication known as Koswe and that he had been propelling propaganda with the intention of destabilising peace and security in Zambia.

He said that the allegations that he was abusing his rights and privileges under the guise of Koswe were calculated to create an impression in the minds of the public that they were true when in fact not.

“The defendant could have reported the online publication “Koswe” to relevant authorities for them to take action instead of amplifying matters in a manner that suggests that the plaintiff promotes propaganda in the country,” Mr  Katambo said.

He said that he had suffered serious ridicule, distress, embarrassment and damage to his reputation.

Mr Katambo is seeking an order that Mr Lusambo retracts the defamatory statements complained of.

He wants an interim and permanent injunction restraining the minister and his agents from further publishing or causing to be published defamatory statements or any similar words.

Mr Katambo also wants a reimbursement of the sums spent in mitigating the effect of the defendant’s conduct towards him arising from the defamatory publication.

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