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By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA                                              

FORMER Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo, has denied defaming freelance journalist Cheelo Katambo.

Mr 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.

He therefore sued the former minister in the Lusaka High Court for defamation of character.

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

He 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 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.

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.

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.

But Mr Lusambo in his defence denied defaming Mr Katambo.

“The defendant shall at trial show that in the alternative, the words complained of in their natural and ordinary meaning are incapable of bearing the meanings alleged therein,” he stated.

He said that Mr Katembo did not deserve the reliefs he was seeking and that he will rely on Section 9 of the Defamation Act, chapter 68 of the laws of Zambia.

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