Gweru mayor sues student and editor

A Midlands State University(MSU) Media and Society Studies student has found herself in the middle of a $1 million defamatory lawsuit filed against her and the editor of The Sun.

Mayor Hamutendi Kombayi

Mayor Hamutendi Kombayi

The lawsuit filed on 31st  March 2016, but only delivered yesterday name the editor of The Sun and reporter Yolandah Taruvinga and demand $1 million in damages for a story by Taruvinga that appeared in November 2015.

In the summons from law firm Gundu & Dube, Mayor Kombayi claims that the article was defamatory and meant to injure his reputation.

“We refer to the above matter and write on instructions from our client Hamutendi Kombayi, to demand, as we hereby do, that you pay the sum of $1 000 000.00, being damages due to our client for defamation,” reads part of the summons.

An unnamed journalist confirmed that The Sun had received a summons from Kombayi’s lawyers, stating that their client was provoked by the published story. The journalist told these reporters that the accusations are baseless and that they will not hold water.

The same journalist stated that it is a ploy to silence the voice of the voiceless and that the amount demanded for damages is ridiculous.  It is believed that mayor Kombayi is trying to discourage journalists from executing their duty and to economically suffocate the newspaper.

“From what we hear The Sun is not the only Gweru based media house being sued as two others are also reportedly indicted,” said the local journalist who declined to be identified.

The law firm claim that the November story with the headline ‘Gweru Mayor Kombayi on the run‘ are false, unfounded and defamatory as it portrayed their client as a fugitive when he was, in actual fact, visiting the United Kingdom at the time.

They further claim that as a result of the article their client suffered ridicule, humiliation, shame, low esteem and public reproach. This is especially harming as their client is the  Mayor of Gweru and well known to it’s citizens. They claim that If The Sun fails to pay the amount demanded, they will take further legal action.

Efforts to reach Zimbabwe Union of Journalists boss, Foster Dongozi for comments were unsuccessful at the time of submitting this article.

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