By Fidelis Munyoro
Former Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) chief executive Mr Mark Mabhudhu has filed a $100 000 libel suit against Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe, publishers of the Daily News, for alleged defamation of character.
Mr Mabhudhu, who claimed that two articles published in the Daily News carried disparaging falsity against him, cited Daily News editor Stanley Gama and the paper’s business editor, John Kachembere, as co-defendants.
In papers filed in the High Court, Mr Mabhudhu is claiming $100 000 as damages arising from the Daily News editorial comment titled “We have been vindicated”. The editorial piece stated that Mr Mabhudhu and finance director Mr Stewart Musekiwa were fired for incompetence,
corruption and maladministration among a host of other issues.
The same remarks were captured in the second article.
“The said words . . . are wrongful and defamatory of the plaintiff (Mabhudhu) in that they were intended and were understood by readers of the newspaper that the plaintiff is a crook and is a corrupt and incompetent business executive and untrustworthy businessperson,” states Mr Mabhudhu’s lawyers Chambati, Mataka and Makonese Attorneys in the summons filed in the High Court.
The articles, the lawyers stated, gave the impression that Mr Mabhudhu was fired from employment on account of acts of corruption, dishonesty and incompetence. “As a result of the actions of the defendants, the plaintiff has been damaged in his reputation, character, his personal status and employment status as well as his good standing among potential employers and members of the general public.”
The lawyers say the legal action became necessary following the failure of the newspaper to retract the publication and issue an apology. The defendants were given 10 days after the service of process to file their responses, failing which judgment might be given in their absence. The Herald