via Scribes charged for “defaming” Hre tycoon 08/04/2014 NewZimbabwe
DAILY NEWS editor Stanley Gama and his senior reporter Fungi Kwaramba were Monday summoned to Highlands Police Station where they were formally charged for allegedly criminally defaming Harare businessman, Kamal Khalfan.
The two scribes were both made to sign warned and cautioned statements, which essentially are initial pleas made before police crime investigators.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) has slammed the arrests and the continued use of criminal defamation laws by the country’s powerful elite to intimidate the media.
The defamation charges against the Daily News pair also come after the tycoon has filed a $10 million suit against the private paper, which has responded with its own notice to defend its position.
This follows a series of stories Kwaramba has written on Khalfan, suggesting the controversial businessman was using his political connections to link dubious foreign business people to President Robert Mugabe.
According to the paper, some of the questionable characters that have been introduced to Mugabe include Bulgarian national and business consultant Stamen Stanchev, who was recently jailed for 11 years for money laundering in Romania.
Stanchev came to Zimbabwe on the coat tails of Khalfan.
The Daily News further claims it has a trove of emails that detail Khalfan’s involvement in the scandals.
Among them is a case in which Khalfan offers to assist a German national, Dietrich Herzog, to clandestinely acquire diamonds from top government officials using the back door.
Although Khalfan does not deny authoring some of the cited emails, he still insists the scribes, in their reportage, were all out to drag his name through the mire.
He is adamant the articles portray him as a fraudster “who is well-connected to top government officials and manipulates such connections to conduct illegal and corrupt deals in Zimbabwe.”
Khalfan is owner of Catercraft, a company in which Zanu PF has shares and is also patron of the Zimbabwe National Army Charity.