Katima councillor demands N$2m in defamation suit

Obrein Simasiku

Three people that are being sued for defamation by the Katima Mulilo Urban Constituency councillor Kennedy Simasiku, have hit back saying they will not apologise and have vowed to fight back through their lawyers, because they believe they did nothing wrong.

In a demand letter dated August 5, the trio were given seven days to tender a public apology on local Nwanyi radio, Eagle FM and on a WhatsApp group of Katima Mulilo Urban. A further demand of N$1 million was put to first respondent Matengu Nkando, a further claim of N$500 000 each on Mwemba Rasboom Mwemba and Jackson Chibata, respectively. This should be settled on or before 30 September or failure to do so, Jarmine Muchali of Jarmine Muchali Attorneys, warned them that the High Court will be approached to seek punitive cost on each of them.

“I will not apologize to the councillor because he borrowed and refused to pay my money, finish,” were the words of a Katima Mulilo businessman Matengu Nkando, who is the first respondent in the summons presented by councillor’s lawyer, Jermaine Muchali.

The third responded Jackson Chibata, echoed the same saying he will hand over the matter to his legal representatives, “i am unfairly targeted, and i won’t apologise, rather let’ meet in court.” The second respondent Affirmative Repositioning Movement’s Zambezi region spokesperson Mwemba Raasbom Mwemba, was unavailable for comment.

The lawsuit emanated after media reports that Simasiku had allegedly misappropriated N$85 000 from the Road Fund Administration, where he was employed, before becoming a councillor. It is further alleged that Simasiku used the RFA money for campaigns when he stood as Swapo councillor for the Katima Urban constituency by-election, following the death of John Mukaya who passed on in a horrific car accident. Following the reports, Simasiku rushed to pay back the alleged N$85 000.

Trouble did however not end there, as part of the payment he reimbursed RFA was loaned from Nkando who owns Kuomboka cash loan, a micro-lender service. Nkando allegedly loaned Simasiku N$50 000, which he allegedly failed to pay back.

“First of all I have not received the said letter of demand, I am hearing rumours about it. And I don’t take such lightly because to begin with, the lawyer is very unprofessional for sending it out into the public domain before the intended person. It’s very unethical. However, this will be dealt with by my lawyers, as I will forward the summons as soon as I am in possession of it,” said Nkando.

“However, I shall not apologize to him, never,” fumed the businessman. Nkando is being sued for allegedly disclosing sensitive and confidential information of a client, when he spoke on Eagle fm on February, 8. This the lawyers say, ‘derided the client’s character, also the unlawful disclosure of details was in contravention of section 27 of the Micro Lending Act of 2008.”

Mwemba is equally accused for sharing remarks on the same radio station where he allegedly made, ‘vexatious utterances stating that our client is a thief, and if Swapo allows him to sit in the office, they would be promoting corruption and that he cannot be trusted because he will destroy the office.”

With regards to Chibata, he allegedly made comments on a social WhatsApp group, by stating that Simasiku was corrupt and a thief. Chibata is further accused of having made insinuations that the N$50 000 Simasiku paid to RFA was an affirmation that he was indeed guilty.

“I will approach my lawyers to deal with the case, because i am being unfairly targeted. We are more than 200 members on the WhatsApp group and all made comments after a snippet of the newspaper article was posted. This then became a public topic where many members echoed their sentiments, why am i being pinpointed among all of them. This can only mean the councillor has a personal vendetta against me. On that note, I will not apologise, because I am not the one who wrote the article in which it said the councillor stole the money,” countered Chibata when contacted today.

By Observer