Deputy Justice Minister Sues State Weekly

The Deputy Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs Obert Gutu is suing the state owned Sunday Mail newspaper of $ 1 250 000 for reporting that he was being paid $200 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to write newspaper articles casting the constitution making process in a positive light.

Obert Gutu
Obert Gutu

The article entitled “UNDP in new Copac Scandal” appeared in the 6-12 May 2012 edition of the paper.

“In this article you published false, defamatory and slanderous statements aimed at our client,” a letter dated 9 May 2012, written to the Sunday Mail by Gutu’s lawyers stated.

The article insinuated that Gutu was commissioned by the UNDP, to write an article or articles in defence of the COPAC draft constitution at a US$ 200 fee for every article that he writes in defence of the said COPAC draft constitution.

“Our client is of the firm and considered view that the article you published was false, defamatory and slanderous,” the letter stated.

“At no point was our client commissioned by UNDP to write any article for any publication, nor has our client received any sort of remuneration and/or consideration for any articles or opinion pieces that he has written about the current constitution-making process.”

The letter further stated that “the contents of the article are not only false, wrongful, malicious and defamatory but have severely tarnished our client’s reputation as a senior and respected lawyer and politician.”

Apart from the $ 1,250,000 damages Gutu is also demanding a retraction and a front page apology.

Post published in: News
  1. Stephen EK

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