SHURUGWI North Member of Parliament Tapiwa Matangaidze has slapped Zimbabwe Newspapers (Zimpapers) with a $1,5 million defamation lawsuit over a story carried by The Sunday News this week.
Matangaidze’s lawyers Tsara and Associates Legal Practitioners yesterday wrote a letter of demand to Zimpapers, outlining the nature of the lawsuit in which the allegedly defamatory headline MP Matangaidze in pub fight over a woman was carried in The Sunday News of May 4 2014.
“The end result is that your newspaper article is false, malicious and extremely defamatory. Your article has caused serious, irreparable political, social and economic damage to the reputation of our client,” the lawyers said.
“It has hurt his feelings, those of his family, friends, and members of his constituency and good intending people of society in general. Our client has been injured in his reputation all the more because yours is a national paper that is widely distributed in the province.
“We are instructed to demand, as we hereby do, a full retraction of prominence that is equal to the defamatory article herein complained of as well as a public apology and payment of the sum of $1,5 million in defamatory damages.”
The lawyers said the screaming headline in The Sunday News was understood by the public to mean Matangaidze was involved in a physical fight over a woman, who for all intents and purposes, would be a prostitute.
“Our client denies that: He was involved in a pub fight, he had a fight over a woman, he snatched a woman from anyone, he was approached by the fictitious boyfriend to leave the woman alone, had a woman lover on the day in question or that he was imbibing at the night club,” the lawyers said.
“Should our client’s demands not be substantially met within seven (7) days of the date of this letter, we shall be constrained to institute vigorous legal proceedings against yourselves until our client receives the relief that he deserves.”