Saboi faces challenges in rounding up Hamasakas to support her defamatory case

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INSTEAD of lining up the Hamasakas as her defenders in her libel case as promised at the last sitting, political songstress Saboi-Imboela opted to settle for journalist Wilson Pondamali as her savior.

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Imboela’s lawyer Melisa Phiri informed the Lusaka magistrates’ court that the former singer faced a glitch in convincing a Feston Hamasaka whom she claims was the recipient of the defamatory remarks, to support her case.

In this matter the Facebook polemicist is charged with libel for accusing State House Chief Communications specialist Clayson Hamasaka of engaging in graft when she claimed that his farm was being developed by the Chinese.

Imboela also accused Hamasaka of being a lethal womanizer and was at the verge of being dumped in the singles bin by his wife as his marriage was on rocks.

But the singer cum-politician at the last sitting confirmed to having accused Hamasaka of being related to State House press analyst Brian Mwiinga in justifying her claims that there is nepotism in the UPND.

She said the infidelity accusations were directed at a Feston Hamasaka who opposed her crude style of offering checks and balances to the UPND and promised to line up five Hamasaka’s to prove that she did not defame the State house Communications specialist.

But to the surprise of many who were eager to see a group of Hamasakas paraded before court, Pondamali instead took the stand and explained how he pleaded with Clayson Hamasaka not to take legal action against Imboela.

Testifying before principal resident magistrate Sylvia Munyinya, the former senior scribe at the Zambian watchdog said that in September 2022 he received a phone call from Imboela who claimed that she was having disagreements on Facebook with a Feston Hamasaka and she asked if at all he was known to him.

He said he informed Imboela that he did not know the Hamasaka.

“Then later after that I saw a post on Saboi Imboela-SI which she posted a Hamasaka having an affair and that the marriage was on rocks. Later on in a whatsapp blog called dynamic analysis Zambia I saw a comment of Clayson Hamasaka threatening to take legal action against Imboela, I happened to know Hamasaka as a fellow Journalist whom I worked with at Zambian watchdog,”Pondamali said.

“Having known both Hamasaka and Imboela, I went to Hamasaka telling him not to go ahead with legal action against Imboela. On the basis that Imboela has been having wrangles with Hamasaka whose name has not been mentioned.”

Pondamali said having known the duo he pleaded with Hamasaka not to proceed with legal action.

“After that Hamasaka reported Saboi to the police for which I did not agree. She told me that they had fights with Feston Hamasaka.”

In cross examination by State advocate Lewis Kandela Pondamali indicated that he did not have evidence to prove that he had a conversation with Imboela.

He confirmed that the defamatory words were published on a page Saboi Imboela-SI but expressed ignorance about Imboela being the owner of the page.

Pondamali said he does not know the wrangles which Imboela had with a Feston Hamasaka though he was compelled to plead on her behalf with Clayson Hamasaka.

He said he is not a personal assistant to Saboi Imboela and the only person who knows the person who posted the defamatory words on Facebook is Saboi herself.

Asked if Feston Hamasaka was mentioned in the posting, Pondamali denied.

He indicated that the Hamasaka he knows is the State House Chief Communications specialist.

At this point lawyer Melisa Phiri requested for an adjournment on reasons that the defense faced challenges in contacting the last witness

She requested the the court to adjournthe matter to the next pre-set date of March 6.

However Kandele opposed the application on reasons that the defense was seemingly not interested in using judicial time accordingly.

“The challenges show that they don’t have a witness other than the two they have provided in court. They should close the case and give time to the court to determine the case. The defense only wants to delay the case. If they don’t have any witnesses they should indicate so,” said Kandele.

In reply, Imboela’s other lawyer Emmanuel Phiri said the case already has a preset date and the State will not be affected in any way. He said it was wrong for the state to imply that Imboela who was placed on defense was wasting time.

Ruling on the matter magistrate Munyinya censured the lawyers for not utilizing time and relying on pre-set dates.

“The idea of banking on pre-set dates should come to an end there’s no guarantee that the matter will be adjourned to that date. They are just dates for convenience sake to allow us to plan don’t talk about pre-set dates going forward I will not allow it,” warned the magistrate.

She adjourned the matter March 11, 2024.

By Mwaka Ndawa

Kalemba February 22, 2024.

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