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Dangote sues Shamenda

CAROLINE KALOMBE, Lusaka
DANGOTE Industries has sued Minister of Labour and Social Security Fackson Shamenda demanding over K100,000 for aggravated damages for alleged slander and libel after he accused the cement company of trying to bribe him.
Mr Shamenda has confirmed receipt of the suit and has said the matter is being handled by the Attorney General.
According to a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court by Dangote Industries, Mr Shamenda is alleged to have caused the publication of a slanderous statement in which he accused one of the company’s employees of trying to bribe him.
Dangote claims that the words used by Mr Shamenda were sensational and that he knew that the allegation of attempted bribery was untrue, adding that the court should infer that Mr Shamenda knew that his words were slanderous and libellous.
The cement company claims that Mr Shamenda alleged that Dangote Industries had apologised for trying to bribe him and that the company’s human resource manager was on the run when in fact not.
“The words in their entirety were based on malicious falsehood and were defamatory, slanderous and libellous of Dangote Industries’ business and professional reputation,” part of the claim reads.
The company also claims that Mr Shamenda made the statement without any official from the company and that the words were in reckless disregard as to whether they were slanderous and that he knew that the prospect of political mileage outweighed the prospect of material loss.
“Dangote Group of Companies is of African and international repute and being a public servant, Mr Shamenda had the knowledge that the said publication was arbitrary and unconstitutional,” part of the claim reads.
The company is demanding damages for slander, libel and special damages amounting to K112,042.84.
Dangote Industries claims that the slanderous words complained of were made without following procedure in reporting and that the company was not given an opportunity to conduct an internal investigation and respond to the allegations.
Mr Shamenda, who confirmed receipt of the suit, said the matter was being handled by the Attorney General.



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