Dear Madam Gillian Langmead
I write to bring to your attention that your words against me as published on Lusaka Times online are defamatory and demeaning to my character as a photo journalist of many years and of high standing in the media fraternity.
The essence of writing to your organization, which has a good reputation in as far as public relations is concerned is demand for a retraction and apology to your defamatory words that have brought my good name into ridicule. I demand that the said retraction and apology should be published in the national media and should be with immediate effect failure to which I will be left with no option but to seek legal redress.
For easy reference I will attach your defamatory remarks against me as well tabulate the order of events that happened at Pamodzi hotel on Saturday 2 April 2016 during the Kagem Mining dinner.
I wish to state from the onset that I am disappointed with some of your comments against me but more so with the physical violence I suffered as well as with the damage to my property which include data stored on my phone. As a result of the beatings I suffered I have been left nursing injuries, mental trauma. To date, I am yet to recover the full use of my right arm.
Your claim that I was requested to desist from taking pictures of a private discussion are false and misleading and by maintaining that I was not assaulted shows your lack of sympathy to a colleague that was at the mercy of thugs in the course of his duties.
Furthermore, you did hint to me that I would not succeed in seeking justice as the chairman of Kagem, Mr. William Nyirenda was a “powerful” lawyer. This was after Mr. Nyirenda’s son broke my phone and issued unpalatable remarks against me as well as saying he could beat me with impunity.
Please be informed that Pamodzi Hotel has Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) which means that there is a video record of the assault I suffered. Should you insist that I was not assaulted, I could prevail on the hotel to provide a recording of the incident so that the public will know who is telling the truth and who is perpetrating a falsehood.
I am refuting your reports with the contempt it deserves as I was charged and attacked by Mr. Ian Harebottle on my way to the bathrooms. He further went ahead to instruct the security to grab my camera and I was injured when we struggled in the process.
As event manager, it is your responsibility to report such acts of violence to the police, not take sides with unlawful conduct.
“20 Kagem Communications April 6, 2016 at 7:34 pm
We are disappointed that the media did not approach Kagem for a comment on this matter, and Mr Mandela did not respond to telephone calls and text messages.
Mr Mandela was not assaulted during the function.
He was requested to desist from taking photographs of a private discussion outside the function, but continued to do so, and as a result security personnel temporarily removed his camera.
Mr Mandela’s phone was damaged by a guest. As a gesture of goodwill an offer was made to replace the phone, but Mr Mandela has declined to accept this.
The two gentlemen in the photograph are long-standing friends and business colleagues and subsequent photographs from the event show them shaking hands”.