Zambia News

For Defaming Church elder, Jehovah’s Witnesses Sued

After being accused of being a defiler by the religious organization, a Jehovah’s Witness church elder who was expelled is seeking a US$2 million defamation settlement from the Zambia Association of Jehovah Witnesses.

Joseck Kunda additionally requests that the court issue an order providing him compensatory damages for his wrongful termination and payment of any earned severance benefits from his time working for the association.

This information may be found in a statement of claim that the plaintiff filed in Lusaka High Court, in which Cyrus Nyangu, the head of the Zambia Association of Jehovah’s Witnesses, is named as the first defendant.

The second defendant named in the case is the association.

The plaintiff claims that the church hired him as an overseer and pioneer sometime in 2014 to carry out specific tasks.

Mr. Kunda was accused of having an affair in 2019 and later went before the Kabwe Magistrate’s Court, however he was ultimately found not guilty on July 10 of the same year.

The prosecution’s inability to establish its case against the plaintiff led to the acquittal.

Nonetheless, Mr. Kunda takes issue with Mr. Nyangu’s recommendation to fire him as an association witness despite the fact that he was cleared.

“The defendant’s association subjected the plaintiff to a congregation trial using the association’s judicial committee.

“The committee went ahead imposing guiltiness and excommunicated the plaintiff from the church without revealing the main reasons to do so thereof,” the document reads in part.

Mr. Kunda regrets that on June 25, 2020, the defendants openly said that he was a defiler, showing contempt for his reputation and position in the industry.

“They announced that the plaintiff is no longer a member of Jehovah’s Witness due to the above mentioned case without notifying me, thus committing a maladministration of justice by deliberately failing to provide accurate scriptural advice herein,” the document reads.

Mr. Kunda regrets that the public announcement made above is entirely based on intentional untruth, which is damaging to the plaintiff’s reputation and interferes with both his personal and professional life.

“The defendants spread of falsehood about the plaintiffs has raised serious and irreparable injury to the plaintiff’s reputations as an elder, overseer and pioneer in the defendant’s association,” the document reads.

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