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HomeLocal NewsPROF KASONKA FACES LAWSUIT - for accusing Dr Jonas Chanda of corruption in the US$100...

PROF KASONKA FACES LAWSUIT – for accusing Dr Jonas Chanda of corruption in the US$100 million TFM contract saga 

By NATION REPORTER

Lackson Kasonka, the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary has been given a seven-day ultimatum in which to retract and apologise to former Minister of Health Dr Jonas Chanda for maliciously causing the publication of false information that the former Minister pushed for the US$100 million TFM Holdings tender in order to get some loose money for his campaigns in the 2021 general elections.

Dr Chanda is now demanding reasonable monetary offers from Prof Kasonka  failure to which, he says he reserves the right to take legal action. In a letter of demand through his lawyers, J Kabuka & Co, Dr Chanda has complained that he has been accused of corruptly procuring the TFM contract at an inflated cost to earn personal commission from the deal which he had never known about while he served as Minister of Health. 

Dr Chanda says Prof Kasonka on December 1st, 2022, caused the publication of a false and malicious story against him that while he served as Health Minister, he pushed for TFM tender in a bid to get some loose money for campaigns, which story had cast him as a dishonest person who had bribed his way into public office.

Prof Kasonka was quoted in the News Diggers on December 1st, 2022 as having accused Dr Chanda of having pushed the US$100 million TFM tender so that he could benefit from the commission thereof.

Dr Chanda was appointed Minister of Health in January, 2021 and served at the Ministry for six months before the dissolution of Cabinet while the TFM tender was only signed by the Ministry of Health on 4th, May, 2022.

He says Prof Kasonka’s words were injurious as they meant that the former Health Minister was a corrupt and dishonest person and a political rogue who habitually abused public office and resources for personal gain. Dr Chanda says Prof Kasonka had significantly injured his reputation by causing the publication of the defamatory allegations for which he says he had been subjected to disdain and grave embarrassment.

“We are retained by Dr Jonas Chanda, the former Minister of Health and  a former Member of Parliament for Bwana Mkubwa Constituency, kindly mark our interest accordingly. Our clients’ attention is drawn to a newspaper article in the News Diggers edition of 1st, December, 2022, with the front page banner; “MoH cites Jonas Chanda in the TFM saga…He pushed for tender to get some loose money for campaigns.” The said article is attributed to you as the source of the contents.

“The words in their natural and ordinary meaning were understood by the public to mean that our client was a corrupt and dishonest person who had bribed his way into public office;  that our client was a political rogue who habitually abused public office and resources for personal gain, not a proper and fit person to trust,” the letter of demand reads in part.

Dr Chanda is therefore demanding that Prof Kasonka should make a full retraction of his words and an apology in terms to be approved by himself in the News Diggers in a position similar to the article complained of.

He is also demanding a written undertaking from Prof Kasonka not to repeat the utterances of the allegations.

Dr Chanda further demands that Prof Kasonka should agree to indemnify him (Dr Chanda) in respect of the legal costs to which he says he has been put as well as make reasonable monetary offer in damages to atone or ameliorate the serious injury so caused by the utterances.

The TFM contract saga has since sucked in Sylvia Masebo, the Health Minister, whom the South African company has accused of soliciting for a bribe in form of luxurious motor vehicles and cash money.

Ms Masebo has not directly or audibly denied the allegations apart from claiming that she did not know anything about TFM neither had she ever met its chairman and chief executive Mcebisi Mlonzi.

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