Tendai Rupapa Senior Court Reporter
Sunday Mail Features and Opinions Editor Garikai Mazara has filed a $500 000 lawsuit against businessman Wicknell Chivayo over alleged defamatory WhatsApp massages. In a claim filed in the High Court yesterday, Mazara is demanding $500 000 damages for injuria and interests. The respondent has 10 days to respond to the summons. Chivayo allegedly hurled insults and obscenities at Mazara. He allegedly said: “Urimbwa yemunhu unofa uchishupika. (You are a dog and you will die poor).”
He went on to critique Mazara’s WhatsApp profile picture, insinuating that he was HIV positive.
“On your profile picture muromo wakafunuka. I’m sure inzara and mapundu ese ayo, asi une Aids?” reads part of the messages.
Some of the messages contain unprintable profanities.
Through his lawyer Advocate Edley Mubaiwa, instructed by Mr Tichawana Nyahuma of Sengwe Law Chambers, Mazara said the messages are humiliating, degrading and ignominious.
“As a result of the said words, plaintiff (Mazara) felt undignified, disesteemed, wretched, ridiculed, demeaned and deprived of his peace and tranquillity of mind.
“. . . plaintiff did feel that he was a foolish man of lower mental and intellectual potency than that which is required of him by both his profession and occupation.
“ . . .plaintiff did feel that despite his best efforts at the work that remunerates him, he is so visibly poverty stricken that his countenance manifests hunger and exasperation.
“The words proclaimed that plaintiff is a man of loose moral and sexual proclivity, who has succumbed to and looks defeated by disease of sexual origin.
“ . . . plaintiff did feel that his work, station, healthy and appearance were so pathetic as to invite pity and shame,” read part of the summons.
On March 7, Chivayo handed himself over to Harare Central Police Station on his return from London.
Chivayo, who was accompanied by his lawyers Advocate Thabani Mpofu and Advocate Sylvester Hashiti, denied the charges levelled against him and signed a warned and cautioned statement before being released.
Reports say on February 14, 2017 at 13.52 hours, Mazara sent a set of questions to Chivayo, inquiring about progress of the Gwanda national solar project that his company, Intratek, is implementing.
Chivayo then referred Mazara to his project manager.
Mazara proceeded to write a story, which was published on February 19, under the headline, “Chivayo explains progress”, in which the project manager outlined work so far carried out on the project.