LUSAKA High Court judge Charles Kajimanga has deferred to June 16, 2010 the case where President Rupiah Banda through his lawyer Christopher Mundia has instituted contempt proceedings against The Post.
Judge Kajimanga adjourned the matter following an application by President Banda's lawyer Mundia to have the hearing postponed.
Mundia told the court that he did not have an opportunity to confer with his client over the case.
This is in a matter where President Banda instituted contempt proceedings against The Post.
On September 26, 2008, President Banda, through his lawyer Mundia filed a writ of summons and a statement of claim in the High Court seeking damages for alleged defamation by The Post.
Simultaneously, with the documents in question, President Banda applied for an ex parte order for interlocutory injunction restraining The Post from publishing libelous words against him in their editorials and reports.
The ex parte order was granted on September 27, 2008 and judge Kajimanga set October 3, 2008 for the determination of the application for an interlocutory injunction inter parte.
On September 28 and 29, 2008, The Post allegedly published articles that President Banda thought were highly defamatory.
The defamatory materials according to President Banda also included an editorial/opinion, which he said was a total disregard of the ex parte order granted by the court earlier on.
President Banda then filed summons for leave to commence contempt proceedings pursuant to Order 52 rule 2 of the Supreme Court Rules.
On October 2, 2008, The Post filed a notice of intention to raise preliminary issues during the proceedings of contempt of court and the preliminary issues the newspaper sought to raise hinged on whether it was proper for President Banda's lawyer Mundia to depose an affidavit in a highly contentious matter.
Judge Kajimanga dismissed the preliminary issues in his ruling and The Post appealed to the Supreme Court, which confirmed the lower court's decision.
In the current matter, Mundia in his affidavit in support of notice of motion to raise preliminary issues wanted the court to cite M'membe for contempt on grounds that the injunction granted by the court had not only been disobeyed but had scornfully been disregarded by The Post as Rupiah's hopeless injunction.
But lawyer George Chisanga on behalf of the defendant submitted that there were already contempt proceedings before the court against M'membe and therefore what Mundia hoped to do was unprocedural.
Last Monday, judge Kajimanga dismissed an application by President Banda to cite Post editor Fred M'membe and the entire editorial staff for contempt of court, ruling that he had already granted leave to President Banda to commence contempt proceedings against M'membe and the issues would be dealt with in the main matter.
The matter comes up on June 16.
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