By Zvikomborero Parafini and Gibson Nyikadzino
Lawyers have spoken against comedian Mai Titi’s decision to reveal the HIV status of her ex on social media platform, Facebook.
Mai Titi, real name Fellistas Maruta, on Monday and yesterday broke down on a Facebook live video alleging that her ex infected her with HIV/AIDS while they were still together.
Lawyers, who spoke to H-Metro yesterday, said the 31-year-old comedienne has a case to answer and urged the ex to institute both criminal and civil charges.
Mai Titi however, said she did not care whether they decide to take the legal route or not because he has had her arrested before, and “besides the mission of letting the world know about her status has been completed.”
She said she did not care how her family would feel or will feel after her post.
“I do not care about how he is going to react to the video, whether he gets me arrested or not, because he has had me arrested before and I know how heartless he is. What is important is that the world knows the truth about my HIV status.
“I do not care how my family feels. I was accused of being a prostitute insinuating that is how I acquired HIV, but now people know how I acquired the disease,” she said.
Tawanda Takaendesa, a lawyer, said Mai Titi has no legal protection for what she did.
“There is no legal protection here. The ex-husband should approach the police and lodge his complaint. It is legally wrong for her to disclose someone’s HIV status on a public forum without evidence, proof or consent from the person she was accusing.
“Under these circumstances, the ex-husband should institute civil proceedings and if he goes a step further, criminal charges,” said Takaendesa.
A female lawyer who requested anonymity said Mai Titi should have first filed a complaint with the police against her ex-husband for “wilful transmission of HIV”.
Said the lawyer: “Mai Titi should have filed a case against her ex for willful transmission, but right now she has failed herself legally. Right now it seems there is no evidence to substantiate her claims and that is going to be difficult for her.
“If she had a recording of a confession or something that was written to confirm that through consent, then that was her alibi. Apa anga achida kungosvibisa mu face uyu chete.
“She should have disclosed her status alone. The problem is some Zimbabweans are reluctant to get tested so right now because she has no evidence, some will assume that the guy was infected by Mai Titi first before he decided to leave her and move on.
“The guy can proceed with a civil suit or criminal charge case. Mai Titi has been reckless. What if the ex accuses her of willful infection of HIV/AIDS?” asked the lawyer.
Another lawyer who requested anonymity said Mai Titi committed a legal blunder.
“I have dealt with Mai Titi and I know this time she has lost it. There is no way the law protects her after such an incident. Imagine if the guy sues her for peddling falsehoods?
“The guy should just take the legal route because Mai Titi has exposed herself. If there was no consent, the guy is on the winning side,” he said.
John Ndomene further confirmed what his colleagues said by, emphasising that Mai Titi acted “illegally”.
“She acted illegally. It is illegal to reveal somebody’s HIV status without their consent. It is a two-way issue. If the guy is HIV negative, he can sue for peddling falsehoods and if the guy is HIV positive he can sue and win beyond any reasonable doubt,” said Ndomene. H Metro