HARARE- The High Court on Wednesday deferred the hearing of an urgent chamber application by socialite Harare businesswoman, Pokello Nare against H-Metro to tomorrow morning.
Pokello is seeking to stop H-Metro from further publishing ‘pornographic’ images from a recorded sexual encounter with her celebrity boyfriend, Desmond “Stunner” Chideme.
The deferrement by Justice Francis Bere was granted at the request of the applicants who want the services of Advocate Happias Zhou, who however, could not make it for the midday hearing yesterday.
Pokello is the first applicant while Stunner is the second applicant and they are arguing that they have suffered injury to their reputation and dignity from the publication of the controversial pictures.
She lists Zimbabwe Newspapers (publishers of H-Metro) as the first respondent, H-Metro editor Lawrence Moyo second respondent and assistant news editor, Nigel Pfunde as the third respondent.
“Personally, I have been seriously distressed by the publications, as relatives and friends continue to read about the obscene tapes. “I have made a report to the police but no action has been taken yet to stop further publications.
“…There is unwarranted invasion of privacy and a determination to injure our reputation and dignity through the publications whose origins we do not know.
“There is no alternative remedy to the interdict being sought. I had hoped that the respondents would stop the publications after they recieved a letter from my then legal practitioners, Magwaliba and Kwirira.
“That is the reason why I did not file the urgent chamber application soon after the 6th December 2011. However, the publication of 14th December, 2011 and the DVDs which are in circulation show the respondents will continue to publish the injurious materials.
“That is the reason why I approach this Honourable court now,” argues Pokello. Pokello’s lawyer, Nobert Muhlolo of Chinogwenya and Hangazha Legal Practitioners argues that the matter is urgent.
“I believe this application is urgent and that there is a great risk of irreparable harm to the applicants if the relief being sought is not granted urgently.
“The photographs, which the respondents are publishing are obscene. They injure the reputation and dignity of the applicants by depicting them as immoral and irresponsible persons who publish pornographic materials of themselves being intimate.
“The respondents have continued to publish more photographs even after a letter was addressed to them by legal practitioners representing the applicants.
“It is clear that unless an order is granted against them they will continue to publish more of those photographs. The only effective remedy available to the applicants is an interdict from this Honourable Court.
“Any delay in the granting of such interdict means that the respondents will continue to publish the offensive materials…”
Meanwhile, H-Metro editor Lawrence Moyo is opposing the application arguing that the matter is not urgent. “The matter is not urgent at all. The harm which is being complained of is most likely to have been occasioned already, if ever there is any, as the publications being complained of happened on the 5th December 2011.
“It is difficult to comprehend how the applicants now allege urgency on a matter which has been reported almost three weeks now and which they knew was going to be published but did not take any steps to seek an urgent redress.
“The second applicant (Stunner) was even consulted by the 3rd respondent (Pfunde) before the publication of the articles complained of and at one instance, he furnished H-Metro with a photograph he proffered to be used in the publication.
“He never complained of any prejudicial harm to him. “…the applicants are approaching this court with dirty hands. “They have engaged in illegal activities of pornography and now seek protection of the law, which law they are in contravention of at the first instance.” H Metro