THE Kabwe High Court has thrown out an application by Kabwe Central PF member of parliament Tutwa Ngulube in which he sought an order of interim injunction restraining Republican Progressive Party leader James Lukuku, his agents, servants and employees from defaming him.
This is in a matter where Ngulube has dragged Lukuku to court seeking damages for libel and defamation for alleging that he was Rwandese.
Kabwe High Court judge Kelvin Limbani said the balance of convenience does not tilt in favour of granting the relief sought because Lukuku denied having authored the article to the concerned immigration officer or circulating it, a position which has to be determined at trial.
“It is my considered view that the alleged damage which is subject of the application is not irreparable. It would be unsafe and speculative to act on the face of the exhibited statement authored by an unknown concerned immigration officer until it is subject to a trial,” judge Limbani said.
The Patriotic Front deputy chief whip who has cited the RPP is also claiming exemplary and aggravated damages for intimidation and malicious falsehoods.
Ngulube said Lukuku on August 14 caused to be published on Facebook social media platform dabbed Koswe a defamatory statement against him in which he stated that “Tutwa should leave Zambian government issues for Zambians, he is Rwandese.”
He said Lukuku indicated that “information had been unearthed showing how Tutwa Ngulube came into Zambia as a little boy. How he enjoyed the Zambian education and how he later started claiming being a Zambian.”
“Soon there will be publication of the true names of Tutwa Ngulube and the village his parents came from in Rwanda. If many have observed and closely checked even his forehead; you will realise that there is no Zambian with such looks. We have been remorseful at publishing this information but we are beginning to see that the young man is crossing boundaries and wants to introduce Rwandese barbaric ways of insulting Zambians like John Sangwa, Mwitwa Eddie and others.
“We wish to warn that soon Tutwa will be answerable and dealt with accordingly if he does not change his behaviour in a foreign land. We do not expect foreigners to behave like that in Zambia. You do not become a true Zambian by being born in Zambia and acquiring Zambian education. Your parents are Rwandese and at the right time we shall sort you out. Take that behaviour to Rwanda and leave national issues for Zambians to debate,” Lukuku is alleged to have said.
Ngulube argued that he had demonstrated that he had a clear right of relief and that damages will not be adequate to compensate the loss of his reputation and life if the defendants were not restrained from defaming him.
The Lusaka based lawyer said the defamatory words by the defendants have subjected him to public odium, social hatred and scandal and social media comments leading to his various social media accounts being flooded with hate speech. Ngulube contended that unless Lukuku and his party are restrained, they would continue to utter their xenophobic and defamatory statements.
But in his defence, Lukuku denied issuing the statement and that he sent a letter to the director of immigration questioning Ngulube’s nationality. He denied issuing or distributing the alleged defamatory statement.
Judge Limbani in dismissing the application for an interim injunction ruled that the court does not act on speculations as Ngulube has not shown that there is a serious question to be tried.