Biti bid to sue Herald hits snag


MDC-T secretary-general and Finance minister Tendai Biti’s bid to sue The Herald following a series of articles he deemed defamatory suffered a major setback yesterday when the case was struck off the High Court register.
The Herald is one of the many government-run newspapers under Zimbabwe Newspapers (Private) Limited.
James Muzangaza representing The Herald yesterday confirmed the matter had been put on ice. “The matter was removed from the court roll by consent as some of the people involved are participating in the constitution outreach programmes,” Muzangaza said.
He said Biti is to re-apply for the matter to be resuscitated.
The matter was meant to have been heard yesterday before Justice Bharat Patel.
The articles which incensed Biti were headlined: “MDC: who really stands in the way of the Inclusive Government”, “Biti Fights Lone Battle”, “To Biti or Not To Biti”, “Anti- Tsvangirai Plot Thickens.”
Biti filed papers against
The Herald in February 2009
suing for damages amounting to $500 000 as compensation for defamation.
He demanded a full retraction of the stories but the respondents allegedly refused to do so and instead, continued to publish more articles about him.
The Finance minister says the articles, published between January 2009 and February 2009 were “malicious, false, wrongful and defamatory in nature” and had “the effect of damaging his good name, reputation, dignity and exposed him to ridicule”.