ZIMBABWE Football Association (Zifa) president Cuthbert Dube has filed a $10 million defamation lawsuit against online Real Soccer Magazine (RSM) and its editor, Shepherd Mandizvidza, for allegedly publishing a string of damaging stories about him.
REPORT BY SENIOR REPORTER
Dube, who is also Premier Services Medical Aid Society group chief executive officer, alleges Mandizvidza defamed him through the stories which the latter wrote since Dube’s election as Zifa president in March 2010.
One of the stories, headlined Zifa president bribes Fifa official, was published in April 2010. The businessman alleged the stories portrayed him as a “corrupt” and “dishonest” football administrator who used bribes to become Zifa president.
“On the 17th of May 2013, plaintiff (Dube) decided that the defamatory articles had injured his feelings and reputation enough and wrote a letter of demand to the first and second defendants (Mandizvidza and RSM respectively).
“The two defendants denied defaming plaintiff and declared that plaintiff was not even worth a quarter of what plaintiff was claiming,” Dube wrote in his High Court application.
Through his lawyer Farai Nyamayaro, Mandizvidza has denied the claim. In response to one letter written by Dube’s lawyers in May this year concerning the alleged defamatory articles, Nyamayaro said: “We are shocked by some of the allegations that date back to 2010. Are you making us believe that it took your client close to three years to realise that he had been defamed? Surely this is laughable.”