By Mwaka Ndawa
MINISTRY of Justice permanent secretary Andrew Nkunika and his wife Towani Chipeta are demanding K10 million from the Patriotic Front for intruding in their marriage.
The couple has sued former party secretary general Davies Mwila as the respondent in the Lusaka High Court, seeking damages for defamation over a Facebook post published by one of the pages associated to it, questioning Nkunika’s affection for his wife.
The plaintiffs want an order of injunction restraining the PF or whosoever may be acting on its behalf, from making defamatory sentiments about them.
In their statement of claim, Nkunika and his wife said on October 21, 2021, the PF falsely and maliciously published defamatory statements on its Facebook page by way of innuendo, saying: “love or guilty- ministry of justice permanent secretary Andrew Nkunika has continued to post ridiculous love posts dedicated to his new wife on Facebook……love or nichani?”
The plaintiffs contend that the defamatory statement was published on Facebook by the PF for its followers on electronic media platform and at the time the page was followed by 161,129 people.
The duo said the words in their natural and ordinary meaning were intended to mean that they were guilty of wrong doing.
They added that the words were also understood to mean that Nkunika’s level of thinking was shallow.
Nkunika and his wife who contested the Chasefu parliamentary seat in the August 12, 2021 elections as an independent candidate said the statement was made in a sensational manner.
“The Patriotic Front knew or ought to have known that the allegations that Nkunika’s writing to his wife were ridiculous is irrational, was untrue,” the couple said. “The PF knew or ought to have known that the plaintiffs were not guilty of any wrongdoing.”
The couple submitted that they have been seriously injured in their reputation, and esteem has been lowered by such sentiments and brought into ridicule and public scandal by the statement.
Nkunika and Towani further said unless restrained by the court, the PF will continue making defamatory statements about them.
The plaintiffs are further seeking costs at the current bank lending rate and any other relief that the court may deem fit.