A Jehovah’s Witnesses church elder who was excommunicated wants a US$2million defamation compensation from the Zambia Association of Jehovah Witnesses after the religious body accused him of being a defiler.
Joseck Kunda is further wants a court order granting him compensatory damages for unlawful dismissal and payment of accrued severance benefits when he worked for the association.
This is contained in a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court in which the plaintiff has cited Zambia Association of Jehovah’s Witnesses president Cyrus Nyangu as first defendant.
The association has also been cited as the second defendant.
The plaintiff states that sometime in 2014, the church engaged him as an overseer and pioneer to perform assigned duties.
In 2019, Mr Kunda was charged with incest and later appeared before the Kabwe Magistrate’s Court but was later acquitted on July 10 the same year.
The acquittal was on grounds that the prosecution failed to prove the case against the plaintiff.
But Mr Kunda complains that despite being exonerated, Mr Nyangu recommended for his dismissal from the association witness.
“The defendant’s association subjected the plaintiff to a congregation trial using the association’s judicial committee.
“The committee went ahead imposing guiltiness and excommunicated the plaintiff from the church without revealing the main reasons to do so thereof,” the document reads in part.
Mr Kunda laments that on June 25, 2020, in contumelious disregard of his reputation and professional standing, the defendants publicly announced that he was a defiler.
“They announced that the plaintiff is no longer a member of Jehovah’s Witness due to the above mentioned case without notifying me, thus committing a maladministration of justice by deliberately failing to provide accurate scriptural advice herein,” the document reads.
Mr Kunda laments that the above stated public announcement in its entirety based on malicious falsehood which is defamatory and libellous to the Plaintiff in the way of his public and private life herein.
“The defendants spread of falsehood about the plaintiffs has raised serious and irreparable injury to the plaintiff’s reputations as an elder, overseer and pioneer in the defendant’s association,” the document reads.