HIGHER and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo has filed a $9 million defamation lawsuit against Zimbabwe Newspapers (Zimpapers), its editors and reporters, accusing them of impairing his dignity through publicising defamatory articles.
Source: Jonathan Moyo slaps Zimpapers with $9m lawsuit – NewsDay Zimbabwe November 25, 2016
BY CHARLES LAITON
In a lawsuit filed at the High Court yesterday, Moyo cited Brian Chitemba, Mabasa Sasa, Limukani Ncube, Lloyd Gumbo, Zvamaida Murwira, Ceaser Zvayi, Innocent Madonko and Zimpapers, as respondents.
Moyo said a number of articles that were published by The Herald, Chronicle, The Sunday News and The Sunday Mail allegedly portrayed him as a dishonest man, a thief and a corrupt minister unfit to hold public office.
In his declaration, Moyo cited articles published with following headlines: Probe into Prof Moyo, 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, Parly summons Professor Moyo and Parly summons Professor Moyo to explain Zimdef abuse allegations.
Moyo said in various articles, in addition to the aforementioned articles, most of which he said were published in the 40 days prior to the issuance of summons, the cited Zimpapers journalists, “in furtherance of their intention to defame and malign the plaintiff (Moyo)”, also authored and published various defamatory statements.
“The claims, allegations and assertions made by the defendants as set out above are false, malicious, scandalous, wrongful and defamatory of plaintiff in the extreme in that in their plain and ordinary meaning, they simply allege theft, corruption and a penchant for lawlessness by plaintiff and were intended by the defendants and understood by readers to mean that plaintiff is corrupt.
“That plaintiff (Moyo) is a thief, who diverted fuel coupons meant for the Zimbabwe Youth Council and sold them on the black market for personal profit; that the plaintiff is engaged in subversive and unlawful conduct demonstrative of disloyalty to the President (Robert Mugabe), his appointing authority, by plotting student demonstrations against the Head of State, and utilised funds to fund the said demonstrations.”
The minister further said the Zimpapers journalists’ conduct in relation to the defamatory allegations, “evidenced a wanton and absolute disregard of ethical journalism and showed unrelenting intention to impair and injure” his reputation.
“As a result of the defamatory articles, plaintiff, who is a Cabinet minister, a Member of Parliament for Tsholotsho constituency and a respected academic, has been damaged in his reputation and has suffered damages in the amount of $9 million,” he said. All the defendants are yet to file appearance to defend notices.