The trial in which President Michael Sata has sued the Daily Nation for publishing a “defamatory” story starts before Lusaka High Court Judge Lengalenga today.
The President had sued the Nation for a story in which Unza academic Dr. Choolwe Beyani accused Government of criminality for removing prominent Lusaka Lawyer Vincent Malambo, from the case he had successfully sued on behalf of the Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) for the recovery of K14billion from defunct Zambian Airways owned by Mutembo Nchito Director of Public Prosecution, Fred M’membe the owner of Post Newspapers and Nchima Nchito.
In his argument to the High Court Malambo noted that the technicality over which the Zambian Airways owners were refusing to pay back the money was unfounded. Subsequently Judge Mutuna agreed with Malambo and ruled that the K14billion was obtained by fraudulent misrepresentation and should be paid back. The Judgment came after the state tried unsuccessfully to withdraw the matter from court and ended by removing Malambo from representing DBZ.
Soon after the judgment three Judges were suspended and a tribunal chaired by Malawian Judge Lovemore Chikopa was instituted because the file was mishandled because Judge Albert Wood should have heard the case instead of Judge Nigel Mutuna.
The case which went to the Supreme Court on appeal has since been referred back to the High Court for retrial and is now being heard by Judge Justin Chashi, one of the Judges who was on the Tribunal that cleared Patriotic Front Secretary General Wynter Kabimba from charges of abuse of office.
The matter comes before Lusaka High Court Judge Lenga Lenga.