Lilongwe-based Kenneth Bwanali, who questioned the authenticity and made public declaration that the announcement made by Premier Bet Malawi — that a fellow Lilongwe-based lady had won K100 million was fake publicity, is being sued for defamation by the betting firm.
A letter from Premier Bet’s lawyers, GK Associates thus demands the same amount of K100 million as compensation, which was demanded on June 7 and was given 7 days to honour that ends today, June 14.
Bwanali was further demanded to publish an apology through the same Facebook page he made the allegations as well as in The Daily Times and The Nation newspapers.
The letter says Premier Bet made an announcement on May 20, 2022 that the lady winner, identified as Mercy Phiri, had won the K100 million after placing two separate bets of K320 and K480 on its online Aviator game.
On the same day, Kaunda is reported to have taken to social media, Facebook on which he allegedly “questioned the genuinity of the win”.
He is quoted to have written: “On 20th May, 2022, Premier Bet through its branch in Malawi announced that a woman by the name of Mercy Phiri had won K100,000,000 after she played a game of aviator with only K500.
“We got suspicious with the advert after we noticed that the news article that was posted on Zodiak Online, Capital FM Online, MIJ Online and others was similar and it was clear that it was written by a single individual. We also got suspicious technically with the winning amount of K100 million.
“During the first article that was shared to the media houses, it never mentioned that Mercy Phiri was not her real name. The media houses edited that only after we raised a query to them. Immediately after our article, some media houses took down the story from their website.
“Premier Bet also immediately after our suspicions deactivated the game from their website till the time of sharing this article to the public.
“Without wasting your hardly (sic) earned data bundle and draining your battery, which you don’t know where and when next you will charge it because of ESCOM, reality on the ground is hereby confirming without fear or favour that the Premier Bet lied to Malawians that there was a woman who won K100,000,000 on the 20th May 2022 through playing aviator game.
“This is a total lie to the nation of Malawi. We are giving Premier betting 48 hours to come open and apologize to Malawians or else we will take legal actions against them. If they feel we have violated their rights, they are also free to do the same on us,” challenged Bwanali in the quoted statement he made on Facebook.
Thus Premier Bet’s response through their lawyers, maintains that “in their natural and ordinary meaning, the words complained of were understood to mean that [Premier Bet Malawi] was using deceptive methods to promote their services”.
“Our client observed that you continued to publish the defamatory statements over the course of several days following the initial post. It is clear that you have created a loss of trust in wide group of people against our client.
“This can be seen from the negative commentary by the public in response to your posts. For the avoidance of doubt, we have observed that your Facebook page is viewable to across the public.
“In consequence of your defamatory publications, our client’s business reputation has been seriously damaged and they have suffered general loss of business.”
The seven days ultimatum to honour the demands that elapses today, June 14, and GK Associates warned Bwanali that if he failed to fulfil the lawsuit demands, they had “strict instructions to commence legal proceedings against [Bwanali] without any further recourse to [him] whatsoever”.
Nyasa Times is yet to establish whether Bwanali honoured the K100 million compensation and/or if he published the apologies on his Facebook page and in the two selected newspapers — The Daily Times and The Nation.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :