Mr Jere is seeking damages for malicious falsehood, libel, aggravated damages including damages for Mr Nkoma’s alleged failure to render an apology.
In his statement of claim, Mr Jere, who served as former president Rupiah Banda’s special assistant for press and public relations, stated that on August 9, 2020, he wrote a eulogy in honour of deceased Zambia Security and Intelligence Services director general Mr Samuel Nkhoma titled “The spy who loved me”.
He stated that in the article which was posted on his Facebook page on August 9, 2020, he recounted a few fond memories of his interactions with Mr Samuel Nkhoma.
Mr Jere said without invitation or due cause, Mr Nkoma responded to him by writing a commentary on mass communication cross platform messaging application WhatsApp group called Dynamic Analysis, which had in excess of 200 members.
He said Nkoma said that “Baba Ponda, don’t believe everything that Dickson writes about us, he is an attention seeker and I know that was not the DG we knew. He claims relevance when he was nowhere close to the man. So sad that he can write about DG like this. Shame on him. Zikomo.”
According to Mr Jere’s statement of claim, Mr Nkoma reposted the claims verbatim on various WhatsApp groups, including one called ‘Business and interaction’ which also has a membership of over 200.
The Zambian Watchdog also quoted Mr Nkoma’s circulated comments captured in an article titled “Jere is lying, he didn’t know the DG, says Noel Nkoma…”
Mr Jere stated that Mr Nkoma uttered and posted his commentary or words knowing that they were false but designed to disparage and demean him with the full intent that the commentary or words be distributed to everyone.
He stated that Mr Nkoma was further responsible for the distribution and circulation of the commentary to all other platforms and persons, both local and internationally.
“In their natural and ordinary meaning the defendant’s words meant and were understood to mean that plaintiff is an untruthful person with tendency to tell lies and is thus a lair and an untrustworthy person who is also an attention seeker claiming a relationship that he did not have for purpose of personal gratification,” Mr Jere stated, adding that Mr Nkoma invited his audience and the general public to despise him and hold him in contempt by pouring scorn on him.
Mr Jere said Mr Nkoma wrote the words knowing fully well that they were false and with intent to injure his reputation and lower his standing in society and as a consequences, he has been put to considerable loss of time and resources explaining to various persons the lies about Mr Nkoma’s words and factual position about his relationship to the deceased.
“In aggravation of damages, the defendant, despite admitting that he uttered and published the said words without factual basis, has refused to render an apology even after the demand costs was dropped by the plaintiff,” Mr Jere said and now wants the Lusaka High Court to order for any alternative award as deemed appropriate, applicable and costs of and incidental to the