Former Ministry of Higher Education permanent secretary Dr Patrick Nkanza has sued the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for libel after he was prosecuted over corruption allegations for a year.

In his statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court, Dr Nkanza said on or about May 6, 2022, ACC arrested him on an allegation that during his tenure in office as permanent secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education he signed a contract worth K200 million without confirming availability of funds.

He submitted that without reasonable and probable cause, ACC charged him with five other suspects before the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court with the offence of wilful failure to comply with applicable law and procedure contrary to section 34 (2) (b) of the Anti-Corruption Corruption Act no. 3 of 2012 in respect of the FTJ Chiluba University, a contract he was not part of.

Dr Nkanza explained that in a letter dated September 15, 2022 he requested for a meeting prior to the date of trial to communicate his position that he was not connected to the offence as charged and by a letter dated October 10, 2022, the ACC responded to his request and proposed that the meeting be held on October 18, 2022.

On the material date of October 18, 2022 a meeting was held between him and his lawyers and two representative from ACC, where at the meeting his lawyers availed to the ACC evidence that he was wrongly indicted .

He stated that the evidence in question included documents which seemingly indicated that funds for the project were confirmed by the Minister of Finance in parliament during the budget address, among other things.

Dr Nkanza stated that despite his efforts to show the ACC that the charge against him was baseless, frivolous, and vexatious, ACC elected to proceed to prosecute him and the matter was taken to court for almost a year.

He disclosed that he was discharged of the charge by magistrate Davis Chibwili on March 9, 2023, following a successful application by his lawyers .

Dr Nkanza submited that despite being discharged from the indictment he was made to appear before a different magistrate the following day on March 10, 2023 by ACC and at the hearing thereof ACC withdrew the matter against him.

He now wants an unreserved apology published in the same manner as the publication of the libellous words and a statement by ACC to the public, to the effect that the charges against him were withdrawn.

He is also seeking costs of and incidental to this action and other reliefs which the court may deem just and equitable.

This is because, according to him, ACC prosecuted him for a year without conducting proper investigations.

Dr Nkanza said ACC also issued defamatory words after his arrest, specifically in their particulars of offence, which they issued to the media

He complained that the said words in their ordinary and natural meaning meant and were understood to mean that he personally benefited unscrupulously, and without regard to the law signed contracts worth US$225, 000, 000.00 during the period 2015 and 2017.

By reason of the libellous publication of the words refered to, he argued that he had been seriously injured in his reputation and had been brought into public scandal , odium and contempt.

He also argues that he had been defamed in a sensational manner by ACC as it had known that the allegations were untrue.

Dr Nkanza is therefore, seeking reliefs in form of special damages of K500, 000.00 as legal fees and K50, 000.00 as transportation costs.


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