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‘Chicken Press’: Sunday Mail Apologies to Prof Moyo, Withdraws Story

Harare – With a US$4 million lawsuit noose hanging over its head instigated by Professor Jonathan Moyo, the Sunday Mail has not only retrac...

Harare – With a US$4 million lawsuit noose hanging over its head instigated by Professor Jonathan Moyo, the Sunday Mail has not only retracted an earlier story – but has also offered an apology to the embattled minister, who has a history of lawsuits against Zimbabwean publications.

Last week, the weekly allegedly fingered the former information minister for seizing vehicles belonging to the Information and Media Inquiry (Impi).

The write-up headlined: ‘Prof Moyo in vehicle scandal’, has since been proved to be fictional.

“…the allegations against Prof Moyo were being made by people unaware of the full workings of the ministry and Impi, and the Prof Moyo had not in fact seized the vehicle in question and that they were indeed on the ministry’s asset register,” the paper noted.
Professor Jonathan Moyo 

A week later, the paper offered an apology.

“That notwithstanding, we sincerely apologise to Prof Moyo and other concerned parties for the misunderstanding and the inconvenience publication of investigations into the allegations caused.”

Prof Moyo has recently become media fodder for his alleged misuse of Zimdef funds. He has however said the allegations were tribal, further calling himself Robin Hood for his role in diverting funds towards the poor in his constituency.

“The claims … made by the (two newspapers) are false, malicious, scandalous, wrongful and defamatory of (Prof Moyo) in the extreme and were intended … and understood by readers to mean that (the minister) is a thief who stole two vehicles.

“In addition to the plain and defamatory … contents the allegations carry with them the secondary meaning and sting that the (minister) is not a law-abiding citizen and therefore unfit to hold public office.

“The (minister’s) reputation and standing being a current and serving Minister of Government has been significantly lowered in the eyes of the public,” said his lawyers, adding that the story was scandalous.

Information permanent secretary, George Charamba has since dismissed the allegations of vehicle abuse. The under fire mister has a history of taking legal action against publications.

Prof Moyo in 2014 sued the Daily News for $20 million for covering an event in which Temba Mliswa called the former, a ‘gay gangster’.

In 2012, Prof Moyo sued the same paper for $100 000 over a WikiLeaks-led story, saying he had met US ambassador on a ‘spying mission to ouster President Robert Mugabe'. - Sources 

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