By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA
FORUM for Democracy and Development (FDD) president Edith Nawakwi has argued that the alleged contempt of court claims against her by African Life Financial Services Limited are insufficiently detailed to warrant her conviction.
This is in a matter where African Life in which UPND president Hakainde Hichilema holds interest have sought leave of the Lusaka High Court that Ms Nawakwi be sent to prison for contempt.
The company in a statement supporting application for leave to apply for order of committal stated that the matter between it and Mr Dickson Mtonga and 22 others is still active in court and the court is yet to determine whether or not it is liable to pay the 23 Anglo-American workers the sum of US$300,000 or any sum at all.
However, on or about February 6, 2021 , Ms Nawakwi is alleged to have made utterances at a press briefing through which she allegedly misrepresented the facts in such a manner as to make it look as though African Life, is liable to pay Mr Mtonga and others US$300,000 and other monies, which is a matter pending in court.
Ms Nawakwi in an affidavit in opposition to summons for an order of committal for contempt filed by her lawyer State Counsel Chifumu Banda claimed she had not be served with the documents.
She only learnt of the proceedings after her advocates conducted a search on May 21, this year.
“My advocates found no record of proceedings on the file and as such I have no idea of what transpired before this court. The complaint as framed against me is fatally flawed as it contains no details or particulars from which I can say a prohibited type of excuria discussion was contemplated to take place,” she said.
“The excerpt quoted in the statement in support of their application is clearly insufficient to support any alleged contempt,” she also stated. Ms Nawakwi contended that she never talked about the actual case neither did she discuss the cause of action to a claim, not even the merits or demerits of the matter in question.
“All I have stated is the disputable facts that the ex-Anglo American workers had been transferred and a sum of money had been transferred with them and they had not been paid. Since the defendant has framed a complaint that alleged criminal contempt it is trite law that the particulars of the alleged contempt must be sufficiently detailed in order to sustain a conviction,” she contended.