FORMER Central Province deputy permanent secretary Patrick Mwanawasa has asked the Lusaka High Court not to award costs to a businessman who has sued him and seeking damages for alleged adultery. Mr Mwanawasa says the businessman’s allegations against him are false. He has argued that awarding costs and damages to Lombe Okpara, who has accused him of having an affair with his wife, would be unfair and an unjust enrichment.
Mr Mwanawasa wants the court to dismiss Mr Okpara’s lawsuit against him because the petitioner is allegedly just fishing for evidence in the case. This is in a matter Mr Okpara has sued his wife, Musama Mulenga, for divorce after accusing her of having an affair with Mr Mwanawasa and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Ronald Simwinga.
The first respondent in the case is Ms Mulenga while Mr Mwanawasa and Mr Simwinga are first and second corespondents. In the divorce petition, Mr Okpara is seeking an order that his eight-year marriage to Ms Mulenga be dissolved. He says he cannot continue living with her after discovering that she was allegedly engaging in adulterous acts. Mr Okpara also alleges that his wife cheated on him with Mr Mwanawasa while the latter was Eastern Province deputy permanent secretary.
But in reply to the divorce petition, Mr Mwanawasa has denied committing adultery with Ms Mulenga. He says contrary to Mr Okpara’s assertions, Ms Mulenga, an investment officer, is a mere friend he had an opportunity to discuss business opportunities with because of the nature of their jobs. Mr Mwanawasa also denies allegations by Mr Okpara that he rented an apartment in Roma, Lusaka, where he spent five hours with Ms Mulenga on November 3, 2018. He also denies making out with Ms Mulenga and that he never wished to marry her as alleged by Mr Okpara.
Mr Mwanawasa contends that Ms Mulenga is an adult who no one can take pecuniary advantage of her as a married woman. “Therefore, the action against the second co-respondent should be dismissed,” he said. Mr Mwanawasa has also dismissed Mr Okpara’s accusation that he used to have money laundering discussions with Ms Mulenga. “At no time did the second corespondent discuss issues of money laundering with the respondent [Ms Mulenga],” he said. Mr Mwanawasa says Mr Okpara is looking for evidence to accuse him of adultery so that he can divorce his wife.