Nick Chakwera, son to State President Lazarus Chakwera, has filed a lawsuit at the High Court in Lilongwe against one Joshua Chisa Mbele over alleged defamatory remarks he made on social media Facebook linking him to the infamous plunder of the K6.2 billion CoVID-19 funds.
After Malawi Police arrested several high profile public officers that included Martin Mainja trading with Pest Chem 1B following investigations of their involvement in the plunder of the CoVID-19 funds, Mbele wrote that Mainja also demanded Nick’s arrest as well as some Cabinet Ministers.
Mbele wrote: “Police have arrested Assemblies of God Pastor Mainja because his four companies were used to siphon hundreds of millions of Covid money by faking a job of disinfecting State House. Police arrested Mainja soon after church in Lumbazi today.
“But police officers who arrested Mainja have disclosed that Mainja demanded that if police are arresting him, they must also arrest Nick Chakwera and Chief of Staff Chris Kapondamgaga who conspired in the fraud.
“Mainja also said Minister of Health Khumbidze Kandodo needs to be arrested because she was part of the deal.
“State House paid Mainja millions of Covid money on ballooned invoices which he cashed, got his cut and handed over cash back to Nick Chakwera and Kapondamgaga.
“Chakwera is a known business associates of Mainja who has suddenly ditched his Superette at Area 18 [to] become a main contractor of government in the last six months.
“The money went round to President Chakwera which he used to fund MCP campaign in Karonga and other bye-elections. Malawians want to see if President Chakwera is going to arrest thieves in his own house,” said the Facebook post.
The particulars of defamatory remarks are that Nick Chakwera is in “business partnership with Mainja; that the claimant together with Mainja are being irregularly awarded business opportunities by Office of the President & Cabinet, Parliament, Ministry of Health, Chancellor College and Malawi Prisons”.
And also that Nick Chakwera, “together with his erroneously presumed business partner, Mainja are not being fairly paid for the work done, but are in fact stealing”.
“The defendant made the defamatory remarks to a public audience as the statements were posted on his public Facebook page which indeed has a considerable following of individuals that view his posts — exactly 6,429 followers by the time of filing this statement of case, and the said defamatory post attracted 96 reactions, 9 comments and 7 shares.
“The defamatory remarks will surely tend to lower the claimant in the estimation of right-thinking members of the society generally, and it will cause him to be regarded with feelings of hatred, contempt, fear, ridicule and disesteem, yet he holds the respectable positions being a well-known Pastor.
“It further lowered the revered pastor’s esteem as one of the comments to the post actually likens him to Duduzane Zuma son to former South Africa President Jacob Zuma, who was reportedly implicated in the state capture of PRASA with the tender meant to be given to the Chinese, and is notorious for his alleged involvement in the Vrede Dairy Project in the Free State, which saw politicians and businesspeople pocketing millions from the project earmarked for black farmers.
“The comment also likened the claimant to Tadikira Mutharika, a step-son to former President Peter Mutharika, notorious for being associated with a MK7.8 billion corruption case over the Kammwamba power plant producing company.”
Evidence tendered include screenshots of the Facebook post made by Mbele; hi number of Facebook followers; comment from one Yeremiah Mategule; post by City Press on Duduzane Zuma’s involvement in Vrede Project; post by Business Day on Duduzane Zuma’s involvement in PRASA case and that of post by Nyasa Times on Tadikira Mutharika’s possible involvement in a corruption case.
The summons filed on Wednesday, April 21 at High Court in Lilongwe before Judge Honourable Justice Kenyatta Nyirenda, commands Mbele that within 28 days after being served he “must either satisfy the claim or file with the Court a defence and List of Documents”.
“If you do not intend to contest the proceedings, you must within 14 days after service of the summons return the accompanying Response stating therein that you do not intend to contest the proceedings but desire a stay of enforcement of judgement, if any.
“Take notice that if you fail to satisfy the claim or to file a defence and List of Documents, or to return the Response within the time stated, or if you return the Response without stating an intention to contest the proceedings, the claimant may proceed with the claim and judgement may be entered against you without further notice.”
Reliefs issued by lawyers Ben & Winston Attorneys, include “award of aggravated compensatory damages; a retraction of the publication; a public apology and cost of action” done under Order 5 rule 20 of the (courts) High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules.
Mainja was arrested on Monday alongside 14 other high profile suspects that include Prince Mtelela (Administration Officer in the Office of President and Cabinet); Pudenciana Makalamba (Commissioner in Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services and former Director of Information Mzati Mkolokosa.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :