SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: May 19, 2012

Attack Types: Prosecution

Institution(s):University of Zambia

Region & Country:Eastern Africa | Zambia

New or Ongoing:New Incident

Following a newspaper story in the Daily Nation, the President of Zambia, Mr. Michael Sata, instituted a legal action for defamation against Choolwe Beyani – the story’s author and a history lecturer at the University of Zambia. In the story Beyani alleged that the removal of Lusaka lawyer Vincent Malambo from the legal team on the Development Bank of Zambia was an attempt by the head of state to shield his friends from prosecution.

In the lawsuit Mr. Sata sought a retraction of the story, a written apology, and damages of 500 Million Kwachas (approximately USD 100,000). Reportedly, the action against Mr. Beyani is one in a series of lawsuits by Mr. Sata against perceived opponents.