Harare West MP Jessie Majome (MDC-T) has taken State-run media group Zimbabwe Newspapers (Zimpapers) to the High Court demanding $300 000 in damages following the latter’s publication of an article which the legislator said impaired her dignity in society and in the world.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Majome, a lawyer by profession, and also the chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, said the article titled “Independence Day is coming”, which was published on April 11 this year, contained some information which was highly defamatory of her.
Majome said the words in the context of the article were wrongful and defamatory of her person in that they were intended and were understood by readers of the newspaper to mean she is “unpatriotic, immature, disloyal, naïve, petty and generally unfit to be a national political leader”.
“In the published article, the second defendant (The lifestyle editor) refers to the plaintiff (Majome) as unpatriotic, immature, being part of a group termed ‘them and not us’ which irrationally opposes the incumbent ruling party, being idiotic to the extent that she blames government for every bad thing that happens to her including blockages to her kitchen sink, being naïve and ignorant . . ., being a negative person and being so moronic . . .,” Majome said in her declaration.
“The said words are so wrongful and unlawful (and) the second defendant also fabricated a story where she claims that the plaintiff was the victim of some racial incident abroad and it was only then that the plaintiff had an epiphany where she finally began to appreciate the gains of Zimbabwe’s independence.”
Majome said the paper’s statements, when considered alone without innuendo, had negatively impacted her public trustworthiness and character, caused her to be subject to distrust, ridicule, contempt and disgrace in the public eye.
She further said the publication had “injured her reputation and goodwill not only in Zimbabwe and Harare West constituency, but also to the world at large” and as a result she was demanding
$150 000 for her damaged reputation, $75 000 for humiliation and insult and $75 000 for contumelia and impairment of her dignity.
Zimpapers has since entered appearance to defend and the matter is pending at the High Court.