Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation George Chaponda has won damages after a High Court registrar Justus Kishindo ruled in his favour in a defamation lawsuit against Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera.
Chaponda took legal action against Chakwera for slander and defamation over the remarks he made to the media that Chaponda said Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) did not need the Northern Region vote to win the May 20 Tripartite Elections.
According to Chakwera, Chapola is reported to have told a media house that DPP won the 2009 elections because it had national appeal not because of support from the Northern Region.
Chaponda was quoted to have said: “Let me challenge you. We will win in May without people from the North voting for us.”
He, however, said he made no such remarks and through his lawyers Sikwese and Company, he wrote Chakwera demanding a public apology within three days or face a lawsuit but Chakwera did not apologise prompting Chaponda to instruct his lawyers to go ahead claiming damages for slander and defamation.
MCP secretary general and member of the party’s legal team, Gustave Kaliwo, who had said MCP stood by what Chakwera said in connection with Chaponda, did not enter into defence prompting the Registrar to enter a default judgement.
In his claim contained in civil cause number 633 of 2014, Chaponda said Chakwera’s remarks had made him be perceived as a tribalist, regionalist or “a troublemaker intent on bringing chaos in the country”.
High Court in Lilongwe will this Thursday assess damages which Chakwera, the leader of opposition in Parliament, should pay.