Sunday Mail faces $2 million lawsuit

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ZIMPAPERS’ weekly Sunday Mail has been slapped with a $2 million lawsuit over a story it published in May alleging that Alpha Detail owner and former Rural Electrification Agency chief executive officer Engineer Emmanuel Midzi had been implicated in a $2,7 million fraud case.

EVERSON MUSHAVA
CHIEF REPORTER

Through his lawyer, Mashal Chitsanga of Mangwana and Partners, Midzi said the story was wrong and sought to portray him as a corrupt person.

“The said article was wrongful and defamatory of the plaintiffs in that it was intended and was understood by the readers of the newspaper and its Internet page that the plaintiffs are dishonesty, corrupt fraudsters, unworthy conspirators and defaulters,” Chatsanga wrote in his summons to the Sunday Mail dated June 12.
Journalist Brian Chitemba, who authored the story, is cited as the first respondent, while the Sunday Mail is the second respondent.

The story titled, REA US$2,7 million tender scandal unearthed, claimed that Midzi failed to implement 28 electrification projects whose tender they won under unclear circumstances.

According to the story, Midzi used his internal links with REA officials to understate figures and disadvantage other competitors to get the tender and then later inflated the figures after winning the tender. The story also alleged that Midzi failed to implement the projects awarded to him.

Midzi said the Sunday Mail story reached a lot of readers, including those who accessed its website locally and internationally, and the story had caused irreparable damages to his reputation.

“As a result of the defamation, plaintiffs have been damaged in their reputation and have suffered damages in the sum of $2 million,” he said.

The Sunday Mail has up to June 26 to file its defence papers.

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