Biti sues Charamba, Zimpapers

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TENDAI Biti, MDC-T secretary-general, is suing President Robert Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba, Zimpapers, and two journalists working for the Herald for defamation after they allegedly published false and defamatory articles intended to characterise him as “a power-hungry politician”.

 

 

 

 

Biti is demanding US$500 000 in damages.

In his High Court lawsuit, Biti cited Zimpapers, Charamba, whom he also referred to as Nathaniel Manheru, Herald political editor Mabasa Sasa, and senior political reporter Sydney Kuwaza as defendants in the case.

Biti claimed in court papers that on different occasions, the Herald published articles that were “intended and were understood by readers of the newspaper to mean that he was “a power-hungry politician” and “is plotting to oust the president of his party Morgan Tsvangirai”.

He said the articles implied that he was placing “self-interest above those of the Zimbabwean nation”.

The Herald was also accused of publishing articles that readers understood to mean that Biti scuttled the formation of the all-inclusive government for selfish and personal interests to the detriment of the Zimbabwean nation and was generally unethical.  

He said the allegations by the newspapers were contained in articles headlined “MDC: Who really stands in the way of the inclusive government?” published on January 3 in a column, “The other side with Nathaniel Manheru”; and “Anti Tsvangirai plot thickens”, published on January 6, and “MDC-T in crisis talks” published on January 8.

Other articles were “MDC-T divided over inclusive government” which ran on January 13 and “Return Home or else, party tells Tsvangirai” published on January 15.

The articles allegedly blamed Biti for stalling talks in the formation of a new government due “to his enormous ambition for a meaningful role both within the MDC and in the proposed inclusive government.”

According to the application the articles were defamatory and implied that Biti was not patriotic and was anti-Zimbabwean, deceitful and serving interests other than Zimbabwe’s.

“As a consequence of the aforesaid defamation, plaintiff has been damaged in his reputation and has suffered damages in the sum of US$500 000” read the application.

The defendants were by this week yet to respond to the lawsuit.

BY WONGAI ZHANGAZHA

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