Legislator demands US$200 000 from News Day publishers AMH

Dr. Matthew Nyashanu
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Zanu PF Buhera Central legislator Dr Matthew Nyashanu is demanding US$200 000 from Alpha Media Holdings after one of its titles, Newsday attributed to him, articles written by a UK-based namesake disparaging Government and President Mnangagwa.

The first article titled “Zim govt targeting citizens for its failures” was published on December 16 last year and was wrongly attributed to the legislator which resulted in the newspaper issuing a retraction following a complaint by the Zanu PF MP.

However, following the publication of another article last week on Wednesday titled, “Gold Mafia revelations an indictment of ED,” in which a picture of the MP was used, he on Wednesday wrote a letter to Newsday through his lawyers, Lawman Law Chambers demanding a retraction and US$200 000 in damages within seven days.

The lawyers accused the newspaper of “deliberately or recklessly” using the picture of their client as the author of the article which portrayed the President and Zanu PF negatively.

“Our client being a disciplined and loyal member of the liberation party does not hold such views or share such thinking as clearly expressed by the different Mathew Nyashanu but the insertion of his picture depicting him as the writer is misleading and defamatory of our client.

“On a previous occasion on the 16th December 2022, you published another article titled “Zim govt targeting citizens for its failures” by the same Mathew Nyashanu and also inserted a picture of our client as the author.

“Our client was greatly disturbed and concerned by the incident and engaged your office resulting in an apology but the damage had been done. Following the first incident it is inexplicable that there could be an accidental recurrence and the inescapable conclusion is that this was a deliberate or reckless action on your part,” reads part of the letter.

The lawyers said the newspaper was aware that their client had a namesake who holds diametrically opposed views to those that he espouses and it was incumbent on them to exercise due diligence and avoid a recurrence.

“The import of the depiction of our client as the writer of such sacrilegious material is that he is a two-faced person and traitor to his party. The publication impugns him as a disloyal party member and this is compounded by the fact that he is an Honourable Member of Parliament,” the letter further reads.

They added that the articles had resulted in serious and irreparable harm to his standing reputation and status.