LUSAKA – Former health minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya has finally sued the Anti-Corruption Commission and its former acting director general Rosemary Khuzwayo demanding US$50,100,000 as damages for libel over his malicious prosecution on corruption related charges last year.
Dr Chilufya is seeking damages for malicious prosecution, libel and defamation, intimidation as well as exemplary and aggravated damages to be assessed.
In his statement of claim, Dr Chilufya said between September and August 2020, he was prosecuted for possessing property suspected to be proceeds of crime, involving more than US$200,000 to purchase shares in Samfya marines and tourism services, spark guest house now Henry Courtyard and a boat, which proceedings he attended at great cost.
He claimed he was innocent but was subjected to and exposed to criminal proceedings and was at risk of being imprisoned if he did not defend himself.
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Dr Chilufya charged that the ACC did not have evidence or reasons to arrest and charge him.
He said despite the evidence by the commission’s witnesses exonerating him, he was still prosecuted but the prosecution ended in his favour and he was acquitted by the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court.
“The defendants were malicious in their prosecution and they had no proof to prosecute the plaintiff on the subject offense and that they were being motivated by social media lies and publication of a well-known malicious online publication and newspaper which neither had evidence nor facts that the plaintiff was involved in any wrongdoing,” Dr Chilufya stated.
“The defendants did not bother to verify their allegations nor their investigations but proceeded to prosecute the plaintiff. The investigations against him did not show evidence capable of causing a prosecution as the defendants had no proof of the alleged offenses against the plaintiff.”
The Mansa Central PF member of parliament said ACC expediently rushed to the media to announce the arrest and charges and information regarding the same was shared on various media platforms and websites and brought him into ridicule, scandal and he felt defamed.
Dr Chilufya contended that the words in their natural and ordinary meaning meant and were understood to mean that he was corrupt when in fact not.
“Despite ACC having calculated his earnings from official sources and private business and that he was capable of owning the shares in Samfya marine and the spark guest house that he bought, they still accused him of being a criminal and prosecuted him without any probable cause and subjected him to harm and damage,” Dr Chilufya stated.
He lamented that his image as a medical doctor was tarnished when he was accused of corruption and social media tabloids still view him as a convict.
“In an audio recording availed to the plaintiff by ACC employees and made public, Khuzwayo was heard saying she did not care whether he was innocent or not but that she just wanted him to be prosecuted,” Dr Chilufya claimed.
“Khuzwayo in ACC institution abused her authority of office by sanctioning a malicious prosecution despite all the advice given to her that the plaintiff was innocent.”
The plaintiff added that he lost business as a result and wants US$100,000 for legal fees and US$50 million as damages for pain, anxiety and mental anguish.
- The Mast Newspaper