By Tatenda Dewa | Harare Bureau |
Social media posts have landed ZiFM Stereo programmes manager, Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa, in trouble after a businessman filed a $200,000 lawsuit against her for allegedly defaming him.
Tafadzwa Musarara, the chairperson of the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe, filed his lawsuit after Parirenyatwa posted on Twitter that she had not invited him to a radio programme, The Platform, on 19 May.
Musarara featured on the programme with Evan Mawarire, an activist pastor who is now living in the USA, after being tried and acquitted on treason charges when he mobilised Zimbabweans to protest against President Robert Mugabe’s government.
The debate generated much interest among listeners, some of who asked who had invited Musarara.
Parirenyatwa, according to Musarara’s court papers, took to Twitter and denied ever inviting him, a development that he said exposed him to public ridicule.
He insisted that Parirenyatwa actually invited him to the programme and briefed him on the debate topic.
“Upon arrival at the defendant’s (Parirenyatwa) work place, defendant briefed the plaintiff (Musarara) on the subject of the programme and advised that it was a debate with one Evan Mawarire of #ThisFlag movement…,” said Musarara. .
“As expected, listeners expressed various opinions through Facebook, Twitter and call-in (sic) on the content of the programme. Of interest, some listeners wanted to know who had invited the plaintiff to the programme.
“To the utmost surprise and dismay of plaintiff, defendant published a statement on her Twitter account dubbed @RuvhenekoP, ‘Hello @jjwhitlaw please be very clear that I did not invite Tafadzwa Musarara. He was present, but not at my invitation’,” claimed Musarara.
The businessman said the Twitter statement was malicious, false and wrongful, saying it was deliberately meant to expose him as a meddling bully.
“Consequently, the statement triggered an avalanche of attacks and ridicule against plaintiff on social media and print media leading to plaintiff closing his Facebook account,” he said.
Musarara further noted that the ZiFM Stereo management had issued a press statement denouncing Parirenyatwa, who he claimed had also visited him at his workplace and pleaded with him to drop his demand for a a public apology from her.
The radio personality has indicated her intention to defend herself. Nehanda Radio