Mzuzu Asian community claim K100m from Council for defamation

The Mzuzu Muslim Minority Association and Lwana Investments are claiming MK100 million from the Mzuzu City Council as damages for defamation.

The association is also seeking an unconditional apology from the Council following remarks by the Mzuzu Town Planning Committee that the Asians rejected land at Zolozolo for use as their graveyard because they did not want to be buried next to Blacks.

“The said comment is and was understood by reasonable thinking members of society as that our clients or the Mzuzu Asian Community is practicing discrimination against the black community,” lawyers Lameck and Company wrote the council.

Mzuzu City Council Chief Executive Richard Hara, who also doubles as the Council’s spokesperson could not be reached for  comment.

CEO Richard Hara: Mzuzu City Council sued for defamation

The Asians said they reject land at Zolozolo because “in our religion a burial site is sacred and we are obliged to visit the graves of our loved ones twice per month. The place at Zolozolo is not secured and who will provide security so that the graves are not desecrated.”

According to a copy of a addressed to the Council dated 23rd August 2012, the association said the remarks by Mzuzu Town Planning Committee were not only defamatory but inflammatory as well saying they paint a very bad picture against the Mzuzu Asian Community.

“Kindly let us know have your views within the next 14 days otherwise we have instructions to explore Court redress in the event that you do not comply with the demands or show any plausible reasons,” reads part of the letter.

Last month the Mzuzu City Council obtained a court injunction against members of the Association barring them from further burying each other on an institutional plot at Area 4.

This followed complaints to the Council querying the opening a cemetery on land designated for Residences and Institutions.

The internment occurred despite the fact that the Council had twice rejected the Association’s application to partition part of its plot into a cemetery describing the Association’s proposal as not ‘compatible’.

Mzuzu Town Planning Committee Chairperson Jando Nkhwazi told the media that the Association broke the law by opening a grave yard without permission.

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