Grandma loses defamation case

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MUTINTA MULAYE writes

THE Boma Local Court in Lusaka has dismissed a case in which a 62 year old businesswoman sued her granddaughter for defamation of character after they differed over her late daughter’s estates and allegedly calling her a witch.

This was a case in which Idah Phiri of Garden sued Idah Phiri, a 26 year old hair dresser of Garden House alleging that she called her a witch.

In her statement Phiri told Local Court Magistrate Bertha Zulu that Idah Phiri was the daughter of her late daughter who died in 2008.

“I took care of Idah and her siblings after their mother died. My daughter used to work at UTH and the institution used to give me K2, 000 every January. I would use it for school going children. One time I was given K4, 000 and I bought blankets, clothes and food for them,” Ms Phiri said.

She said the last payment she received was K12, 000 of which she gave every child K1, 000 and kept K6, 000 she used to extend her house by 2 rooms.

“We differed over her coming to demand for rentals. I refused and the next day she came and stood on the roadside and said to me ‘you pig who bore a pig to bear a pig. You killed your child so that you eat her money. How many children are you going to kill so that you deprive beneficiaries?” She said.

In defence Idah denied the allegation that she called her grandmother a witch.

“When my mother died, we were not asked who we wanted to administer the estate. My sister and I asked her why she didn’t ask us, but she was arrogant.

“She used our mother’s money to renovate her house and the second payment she used it to electrify her house. The third payment she bought a fridge and blankets for sale and gave each of us K150 and bought us clothes,” she said.

She told the court that her grandmother would call her and her siblings dogs and had a tendency of insulting them and using bad language and when their father tried to get them their grandmother refused.

“I agree I called her a pig because she uses bad language. But I did not call her a witch at any point. It was her who said to us that people were calling her a witch,” Idah said.

The court found that there were disputes over the deceased estates among the beneficiaries as the children of the late were deprived by administrator.

 The court also found that there were no elements of defamation and the claim was dismissed.

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