State to defend case in which Dr Mujajati sued them

By Staff Reporter

THE Attorney General has asked the Lusaka High Court not to entertain the application by former Health Profession Council of Zambia chief executive officer Dr Aaron Mujajati to enter judgement in default  against the State in a case he sued the State and Health minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya for defamation of character.

Attorney General Kalaluka has submitted  that  Dr Mujajati has not obtained leave of the court to apply for judgement in default in his favour.

Dr Mujajati who is the former registrar of HPCZ is claiming damages for defamation of character over allegations that he was being irrational and inhuman for closing down health institutions on flimsy grounds.

Dr Mujajati wants the court to grant  him an injunction restraining Dr Chilufya from uttering further defamatory words.

And Dr Mujajati has asked the court to enter a judgement in default of appearance and defence against Dr Chilufya and Kalaluka in the matter.

In an affidavit in support of summons to enter judgement in default of appearance and defence, Dr Mujajati’s lawyer Morris Lungu said 14 days had elapsed since the matter was commenced  and served on the defendants but they had not responded.

He said the matter was commenced by way of writ of summons and statement of claim against Dr Chilufya and Kalaluka on May 24, 2019 and was served on the defendants the same day but have not entered an appearance and defence.

“The State through Kelly Chongo, a state advocate from the Attorney General’s Chambers, has filed an opposition, saying the State intends to defend the matter.

Chongo submitted that the failure by the State to enter appearance and file defence has not been done out of disrespect to the court but has been caused by the delay in obtaining instructions from the client Ministry.

He said instructions had since been obtained and defence has been prepared.

Chongo also stated that it was a requirement that before applying for leave to enter judgement in default in proceedings against the State, one is required to give 14 days notice through the court and the plaintiff has not done so.

He said the State are desirous of being heard on this matter and it will be in the interest of justice for this court to proceed and determine this matter on its merits.