Love Turns Sour: Ex-Lover Drags Miss Universe Zambia to Court

A prominent Finnish businessman Veli-Matt Toppari has dragged Miss Universe Zambia Melba Shakabozha to the Lusaka High Court for alleged defamation.

Toppari is claiming damages for malicious falsehoods allegedly authored, published and circulated on social media | Melba, his ex-lover.

Melba is alleged to have defamed Toppari through a Miss Universe Zambia WhatsApp where she is said to have circulated and published libelous and defamatory material in which she allegedly accused the latter of attempting to rape her.

According to a statement of claim filed | Toppari’s lawyer Wantemwa Simutenda of GDC Chambers, the newly crowned Miss Universe Zambia, with the help of model Alice Musukwa, on or about August or September, 2018 published and circulated to the Miss Universe Zambia WhatsApp group malicious and reckless statements against the plaintiff.

Musukwa is being sued as the second defendant in this matter.

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According to Toppari, Melba, in her posting, stated that she and her ex lover were good until he attempted to rape her and in self defense, she bit him and did not stab him as claimed | the plaintiff.

Toparri feels Melba’s words on the WhatsApp group were defamatory and, in their natural and ordinary meaning, were calculated at tarnishing and disparaging his reputation and good standing to make him have a criminal record.

He further claims the words referred to also meant that he was a sexual abuser and offender of alleged attempted rape.

“…and also that he is and was a criminal, crook, and dishonest, violent, uncontrollable person who blackmailed the plaintiff,” the statement of claim reads.

The businessman is further claiming a permanent order of injunction restraining Melba and Musukwa | themselves, agents, servants or whosoever from further authoring, publishing and circulating or causing to be authored, published or circulated in the said or similar libel in future.

Toppari further wants an order for immediate retraction of the libelous and defamatory publications and an apology in print, electronic and social media in a manner duly approved and to his satisfaction.

He further wants costs and any other relief deemed necessary | the court.

Last year, the Miss Universe Zambia organization came to the defense of Melba over allegations that she had stabbed her Finnish lover, Toppari, and took off with his K1, 250.

In a statement issued to the media, Miss Universe Organisation singled out a Mr James M Mwape who, it said, published an article on August 30, 2018 dubbed “Finnish Man claims Miss Universe Zambia Attacked Him With A Knife”, adding that the organization would sue the said publisher of the information.

“The accuser, Toppari, allegedly decided to divulge personal information of their brief encounter for his own personal gain in pursuit of tarnishing this honest young woman’s reputation. An altercation was had where Shakabozha’s life was violently threatened thus acting in self-defense. Despite such violent abusive behavior towards the accused, neither claims of stabbing nor the stealing of money occurred. Through manipulation and blackmail, he had continued to threaten her well-being, her family and career thus fearing for her safety and that of her family,” Miss Universe Organization stated last year.

Miss Universe Organisation said in collaboration with Melba, they had taken a step further to bring Toppari to book over his alleged threats against the model as well as the story circulating on social media that she stole a K1,250 from him.

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