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Ex-deputy mayor sues MRP for defamation

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Kambarami is demanding an apology and retraction of the statement and US$500 000 compensation, accusing MRP of describing him as a “Shona vulture” which had brought Bulawayo to its knees.

BY SILAS NKALA FORMER Bulawayo deputy mayor Tinashe Kambarami has written to the Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) complaining over alleged defamatory remarks made against him on social media portal, Facebook.

Kambarami is demanding an apology and retraction of the statement and US$500 000 compensation, accusing MRP of describing him as a “Shona vulture” which had brought Bulawayo to its knees.

Through his lawyers Masamvu and Da Silva-Gustavo, Kambarami — who was recently reinstated as ward 3 councillor after the courts ruled in his favour, wrote a letter dated August 24, stating that he was aggrieved by the messages that MRP circulated on August 21, on its Facebook page.

“On Sunday August 21, 2022, through your Facebook page styled ‘Mthwakazi Republic Party — MRP Network — Information, you falsely and unlawfully accused our client in a widely published post of, inter alia, conniving with the chamber secretary for the City of Bulawayo to bring Bulawayo to its knees,” the letter of complaint read.

“In the context of the post, this defamatory allegation was exacerbated by the shocking insinuation that our client is a “Shona vulture” and is a conduit of the Shona 1979 grand plan and the code xxx by Citizens Coalition for Change which outlines measures to Shonalise Bulawayo’.”

The lawyers noted that the allegations were defamatory, hurtful and were deliberately intended to humiliate Kambarami as well as tarnish and undermine his reputation.

“The allegations are also, to your knowledge, false. Your false publication is compounded by the fact that through releasing it on a public platform, you knew full well that the contents thereof would be widely read and/or shared given our client’s high public profile,” the letter read.

Kambarami notes that MRP’s statement was shared on various Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp pages with over 500 platforms, which warrants an immediate apology and retraction.

He wants the retraction to be accompanied by deletion of reference to his name, and also wants the MRP to undertake that it will refrain from making any further false, defamatory and hurtful statements concerning him.

“Please ensure that this written undertaking is received by us within 24 hours of your receiving this letter; failing which our client reserves the right to acquaint yourselves with the diverse legal proceedings,” the letter read.

“While a public apology and retraction will go some way towards ameliorating the hurt and the assault on our client’s reputation and his dignity, our client also requires financial compensation in the form of damages. To this end, our instructions are to demand from you, as we hereby do, payment of the sum of US$500 000 within ten (10) days of your receipt of this letter. Should this sum not be paid within the time prescribed, we have instructions to institute legal proceedings against you without further notice to you, except as required by law.”

MRP leader Mqondisi Moyo said:  “How is it possible for a political entity to defame anyone? The truth of the matter is that he and other Shonas in Bulawayo are beneficiaries of the 1979 Shona grand plan and code xxx and they are the conduits.”

Follow Silas on Twitter @silasnkala