The Zimbabwe Newspapers (Zimpapers) group, its editors and reporters have filed opposing papers challenging Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo’s $9 million defamation lawsuit.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Moyo’s court action stemmed from a series of allegedly defamatory articles published by the group’s publications, which he claimed impaired his dignity.
Part of the Zimpapers response, filed at the High Court last week, read: “Be pleased to take notice that on the 15th day of February 2017… the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth defendants (Zimpapers and its scribes) entered into an appearance to defend this action. The defendant’s address for service is care of their undersigned legal practitioners, Messrs Chirimuuta and Associates … the defendants were served with summons on February 13, 2017.”
In his application, Moyo cited scribes Brian Chitemba, Mabasa Sasa, Limukani Ncube, Lloyd Gumbo, Zvamaida Murwira, Caeser Zvayi and Innocent Madonko and Zimpapers, as respondents respectively. He claimed The Herald, Chronicle, Sunday News and Sunday Mail published several articles, which allegedly portrayed him as a dishonest man, a thief and unfit to hold public office.
Moyo, in his declaration, cited articles published with following headlines: Probe into Prof Moyo, Dr Gandawa: The Details, Moyo likens self to Robin Hood, Prof Moyo ‘admits’ funds abuse, Zanu PF didn’t get Zimdef loot and Parly summons Professor Moyo to explain Zimdef abuse allegations.
Moyo said in various articles, in addition to the ones mentioned articles, most of which he said were published in the 40 days prior to the issuance of summons, Zimpapers journalists, “in furtherance of their intention to defame and malign the plaintiff (Moyo)”, also authored and published various defamatory statements.
“As a result of the defamatory articles, plaintiff, who is a Cabinet minister, a Member of Parliament for Tsholotsho North constituency and a respected academic, has been damaged in his reputation and has suffered damages in the amount of $9 million,” he said.
The matter is yet to be set down for hearing.