Opinion: Will Defamation Suits Give Us Answers To Privatisation Questions?

Those who are afraid to account for their misdeeds always rush to other means of distracting the people who are calling them to question. They will come up with all sorts of ways, and strategies, to escape scrutiny and liability, but in the end, that does not help them in any way because, where there was illegality, the law demands that each and every person is brought to account as that is what the rule of law demands.
We have seen the behavior of Mr Hakainde Hichilema who rushed to sue Ms Edith Nawakwi for defamation after making a demand of a whopping $3 million for what he claims to be damages arising out of the latter’s statements that the opposition leader made personal gains from privatization by not declaring interest during negotiations for the sale of Mosi-O-Tunya Hotel in Livingstone as he was affiliated to the buyers, Sun International. Ms Nawakwi has also maintained her position that Mr Hichilema actually benefitted a house in Lusaka’s Kabulonga area from the sale of Lima Bank.
Mr Hichilema’s approach to the challenge: defamation lawsuits against Ms Nawakwi! But is he the only one who has been questioned and called to account over their role in the privatization process? Questions around privatization started in 2006. And they will not end at Mr Hichilema because all those who took part and illegally benefitted from the process must be made to account for their roles. Today, it is Mr Hichilema being brought under scrutiny, tomorrow it will be somebody else, without exception.
For, what our leader of the country’s biggest opposition political party should do is work towards providing clear answers to the privatization queries. Well, for arguments sake, if the courts tomorrow find Ms Nawakwi liable for defamation and order her to US $3 million to Mr Hichilema as demanded in the lawsuit, will this help in clearing his name from the alleged impropriety during the privatization process? Definitely not. Why can’t Mr Hichilema take himself to law enforcement agencies and demand that he be investigated to prove his innocence? That would be a cheaper and more reasonable way of proving himself clean, than rushing to the courts to sue Ms Nawakwi.
As a leader vying for the highest office of the land, we expect Mr Hichilema not to have trouble providing answers to the questions that have been asked about the privatisation process because leaders are expected to develop thick skin.
Lastly, Mr Hichilema must personally undertake to print out and avail all documents he says he has to prove his innocence in the allegations made by Nawakwi. There is no way he expects citizens to individually go to PACRA to check whether or not what is being alleged against him is true. The burden of proof to show his innocence lies in him!


  1. Truth man

    Rule of law says one who alleges should bring facts and prove his case. That is simple natural justice. In Zambia people tend to confuse themselves with things and issues they don’t understand and then expose their ignorance.

  2. KCM

    Nawakwi misplaced her priorities, she missed the whole point hence accusing HH without proper evidence. She was the mnister in charge by then and you the reporter must know better than us.
    Meanwhile we have bigger issues at hand ✋ ie K20/1$

    • AM

      Kcm you are misleading yourself talking anyhow, US dollar is doing well over other currencies if you are following US campaigns that is the reason why Donald Trump is boasting himself over other previous presidents do dear kwacha is not the only currency filling the heat against US dollar. Secondly Covid 19 is also the major contributing factor to the current situation we are going through and privatisation which has benefited few lndividuals.

      • Sasori

        My guy..am sure if u took time to check your facts..u would not be opening your mouth like this..how much has the kwacha lost since 2011?..and how much have regional currencies lost since 2011?..that is how you do research and comparison…do just say like every uneducated cockroach..ati covid.. elections in America..and importation of fuel…please utilize your brain in full..

  3. Kepa Arrizabalaga Iback

    Ms Nawakwi is good for nothing in short she is a fool, she is accusing HH of privatisation without proper evidence, don’t rush to arrest HH without evidence, according to article 1 we all born equal and fairly freedom and dignity

  4. Arm chair

    Chris Phiri are you thinking straight, where do you lay your facts ,to investigating wings or the court?

  5. Siame

    Why can’t she prove him guilty beyond reasonable doubt rather than him proving his innocence to her… How many accusations does he have to prove right if you expect him to stop whenever every dog barks?

  6. Chris phiri what is your problem

    Chris phiri what is the matter with you? How much does pf pay you to write good about them and they tell you to write dirty about hh and upnd. That is a messed up thing to do boy. We know pf paid you to campaign for them here on Zambia reports but you can’t fool us, hh will be our president come 2021. Belieeeve That!

  7. Truth man

    Lets wait for her evidence when she will appear in court for defamation. She will have to prove her accusations against HH! This will be a very interesting case indeed. I shall be waiting to see this matter in court. The photographer who defamed Honourable Dora Siliya is dancing to the tune of defamation of the minister and it has been taken criminally under the penal code as criminal libel. Nawakwi is lucky that in her case it has been done as a civil case. But I can see how they want to put her in trouble financially! Oh! boy i don’t know where she will get money to pay that court fine when it comes round!

  8. Lovemore

    Rushing to Court you say? Who rushed to court when Me Fraizer Siwale made allegations? Many other person’s who feel injured by allegations levelled against the have rushed to Court.
    That is how civilized people behave than hailing insults at one another.
    Wake up Chris.

  9. Lovemore

    Rushing to Court you say? Who rushed to court when Mr Fraizer Siwale made allegations? Many other persons who feel injured by allegations levelled against them have rushed to Court.
    That is how civilized people behave, than hailing insults at one another.
    Wake up Chris.

  10. Gessik

    I am now beginning to believe that this is matter is not as simple as we can argue for and against HH or Nawakwi. Revelations that are coming through (that is if you ve to been following through different media )are indicating that this matter will not be as easy to settle .There is a lot involved such that our social media contributions/ discussions are nothing.The best we can do is to confine ourselves to the terraces.

  11. Mwaba

    Which investigation wings do you expect HH to take himself to when they are government controlled. We can only trust these wings if they fairly give us the names of the owners of the 48 mansions among other issues

  12. Chendabusiku

    The day we shall start voting by media opinion surely HH will go to state house. So he must wait untill then. A leader who has no respect for the courts of the land, when it is cobvubient for him he rushes there. Instead of answering questions he rushes to the courts that he has made his disciples to disparage. As if that was not enough, HH wants to preside over a country but does not recognize its currency (Kwacha) he quotes his bills in $ (Dollar) . This is a shame of the highest order, and you call yourself an opposition leader. You want to become president of Zambia and charge people in a foreign currency. Our courts are also slopy they should tell Hichilema to go and redraft his suit in Kwacha and resubmit to the court. Nawakwi does not earn in Dollars only Hichilema does through his offshore Investments of the money that he obtained under questionable circumstances.

  13. FuManchu

    I wonder what Chris Phiri’s article is aiming at beyond telling HH to prove himself clean of Ms. Nawakwi’s accusations! It falls on Ms. Nawakwi to provide the necessary evidence as proof of what she’s talking about and not HH to go searching for documents to prove himself clean. The article in itself has that bias of prejudice. The courts are there for any aggrieved party to seek protection as well as justice. HH has become a powerhouse sending shivers in many yet he is as human as every Zambian citizen!

  14. Big people

    Good move my present Mr HH, $ 3 million dollars. This woman is very stupid punish her like that. How can she say something without evidence? And you Chris Phiri we know that you are being paid by PF but come 2021 you will see what is going to happen bcoz God is for everyone.

  15. Frank talk

    Women in Zambia will be raped, insulted, abused if by chance HH wins elections next year.They will not question government or the president on what ever issue. UPND have shown no respect for women in Zambia. I am very concerned. ECL is a leader he has been insulted, criticized and mocked. He is not emotional. Can it be that hh has never been a councilor or an MP. Can it be that because he has always been a boss.can it be that because he is bitter after losing 5 times. Can it be that because he has been stigmatized because of what he has gone through not knowing exactly his real name (Sammy Chitombwa to HH). Please ECL mentor HH on leadership. He can be a good leader in 2026

    • St. Luciferus

      You pick stories that are theoretical, they go nowhere. Fake conspiracy.

  16. Mwengu usalala

    Chris Phiri, your English construction sounds very good but you are the dumbest thinker… I have no regrets to say so. At law it is the alleging party to prove (showfactsoftheirclaims in a matter) not the accused. You are claiming that HH personally gained from the privatisation programme in Zambia … the burden of proof lies at you to prove your claim NOT HH. HH has invited EZN to the court to court so she can prove her case. That is how it is legally done. Other than that the law does not permit (.)

  17. Mwata

    He who alleges must provide the evidence. You are free to go to PACRA, ZDA, Ministry of Lands, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Commerce and World Bank Zambia office and collect as much information as you want regarding this subject. Once you have done that, then you can allege and say, “according to these official documents, you are alleged to have misconducted your self in the following ways “. Otherwise HH is not obliged to respond to every Jim and Jack. Why are you so lazy to undertake basic research?

  18. Gary Chizu

    Guilty are afraid come out with a proof you know we should be talking over something which is still on our nose talk the issue gassing, 48houses-roadsheding now we are busy talking about privatization that is past lets talk how can we put things in order

    • Manfield maurice

      Nice talk Gary, we need people you in this country.

    • Manfield maurice

      Nice talk Gary, we need people like you in this country.

  19. Mudala

    Selling of mines and some company wil solve this problem on how money was used and benefited frm it. HH is Only not target but all ministry are involved in it. Law is clear but men do change it 2 sult there interest.

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