Muchinguri claims $1 million defamation damages from local newspaper

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By Mary Taruvinga

DEFENCE Minister, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri has filed a $1 million suit against the Daily News for alleged defamation in a case in which the private paper published an article claiming her housing cooperative, Musha Mukadzi illegally obtained land.

The Zanu PF national chairperson argues that the paper on March 7, this year published defamatory articles tarnishing her image and that of Musha Mukadzi Housing cooperative.

Despite demands she has made, Muchinguri-Kashiri says the Daily News has refused to pay the damages.

“On March 7 2019, the defendants published a defamatory article in the Daily News entitled ‘Musha Mukadzi Housing project did not pay for land’,” reads her declaration.

“In this regard, when the defendants refer to Musha Mukadzi Housing Cooperative, they were in fact and indeed referring to the first plaintiff (Muchinguri-Kashiri) because no one knows Musha Mukadzi Housing Cooperative hence readers who read understood it to refer to first plaintiff as a corrupt and dishonest member.

“First plaintiff is an alter ego of Musha Mukadzi Housing Cooperative since she is the founder of the cooperative.”

Muchinguri-Kashiri said Daily News is a publication widely distributed in Zimbabwe. The defamatory articles were also published on their online platform.

“The articles were intended to mean that plaintiffs were corruptly allocated a piece of land by Mutare City Council without paying for it.

“That plaintiffs used their company known as Natao Enterprises (Private) Limited which is not registered, which is false,” the summons show.

The Zanu PF top official further claims that as a result of the publication, her reputation, character and status have been injured in the sum of $1 million.

Muchinguri-Kashiri filed the summons through her lawyers, Venturas and Samkange last Friday.

The Cabinet Minister is cited as the first applicant while Musha Mukadzi was the second applicant. The Daily News, its editor and Manicaland reporter are cited as respondents.