High Court reserves ruling in Vincent Malambo’s application

Ruling in a matter in which Lusaka prominent lawyer Vincent Malambo has applied to join Daily Nation proprietor Richard Sakala and University of Zambia academician Dr Choolwe Beyani  in a case in which the duo has been sued by President Sata for defamation has been deferred  because the State was not ready to proceed.

Judge Florence Lengalenga could not deliver her ruling because the State was not ready with the matter.

And the lawyers representing Dr. Beyani and Mr. Sakala said they had no information as to when the main matter would be heard.

Yesterday, Mr Malambo in his submissions maintained that President Sata maliciously defamed him when he told the Lusaka High Court that he (Malambo) was removed from representing the Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) for allegedly being incompetent and would therefore want to join in the case toclear his name.

Mr Malambo has submitted that according to the Halsbury’s Laws of England, not all statements uttered in court enjoyed absolute privilege and that malicious defamation of a person during court proceedings was not protected.

Mr Malambo in his written submission as an intended intervenor in the K14 billion DBZ loan which High Court Judge Nigel Mutuna ruled that Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mutembo Nchito, his business partner Fred M’membe who is owner of the Post Newspaper and Nchima Nchito obtained by fraudulent misrepresentation argued that if a person was defamed in his profession, the defamation was actionable.

He submitted that the remedy in a situation where a malicious statement was made against an individual in court was for the affected to join the proceedings.

Mr Malambo said he was fortified in seeking to join the proceedings by the provisions of Section 3 of the Defamation Act Chapter 68 Volume 6 of the Laws of Zambia which provide that in an action for slander in respect of the words calculated to disparage the plaintiff in office, profession, calling, trade or business held or carried on by him at the time of publication, it shall not ne necessary to allege or to prove special damage.