By Nyore Madzianike
A Netherlands embassy official, Harry Davies, is being sued for US$100 000 in damages after he allegedly defamed two real estate companies in comments posted on his Twitter handle.
West Properties (Private) Limited and Pokugara Properties (Private) Limited claim to have been defamed by Davies on September 7 this year when the latter commented on musician Jah Prayzah’s purchase of a residential stand in Borrowdale, which Davies alleged had been acquired through “corrupt means”.
Davies, who is being sued in his personal capacity, posted the alleged offensive message soon after the popular musician tweeted images of himself and representatives of the two property firms at the stand he had just purchased.
“On the 7th of September 2020 one of the plaintiff’s clients popularly known as Jah Prayzah celebrated the purchase of a piece of land on one of the properties owned by the 2nd plaintiff (Pokugara Properties) by posting a picture of himself and the representatives of the plaintiff on his Twitter handle.
“The said plaintiff’s client has more than 167 100 followers (on Twitter).
“As at the time of filing the summons, his celebratory tweet had been re-tweeted by 152 people, including a re-tweet by one Morgan Heritage, who has a singular following of more than 105 300 people.
“The said tweet has the potential of having reached more than one million people including those who reacted to it and those who did not react to it.
“In the same tweet, the defendant commented that the plaintiffs obtained the property through corrupt means,” said the two companies in their summons filled at High Court.
West Properties (Private) Limited and Pokugara Properties (Private) Limited claimed Davies’ tweet was defamatory and was meant to portray the companies to his readers, as dishonest and fraudulent.
“The words in the context of the tweet are wrongful and defamatory to the plaintiffs in that they were intended and were understood by readers of the tweet to mean that plaintiffs are dishonest, fraudulent and used bribery to obtain the land in question.
“Everyone who comes across the said tweet by Jah Prayzah is also exposed to the defamatory comments made by the defendant,” they said.
They also complained that their business reputation was tarnished by the tweet and that it would affect their potential to attract customers as they would be perceived to be selling corruptly acquired land. The Herald