GRAIN Millers Association of Zimbabwe chairperson, Tafadzwa Musarara, has filed a $200 000 lawsuit against ZiFM Stereo programmes manager Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa accusing her of defaming him.
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In summons filed at the High Court under case number HC9910/16, Musarara said Parirenyatwa defamed him when she claimed on social media that she did not invite him on her programme — The Platform — on May 19 this year.
Musarara, who appeared on the programme as a guest alongside #ThisFlag frontman Evan Mawarire, claims Parirenyatwa’s disclaimer exposed him to public attacks.
Musarara claimed that he attended the radio phone-in programme following an invite by Parirenyatwa herself.
“Upon arrival at the defendant’s (Parirenyatwa) work place, defendant briefed the plaintiff (Musarara) on the subject of the programme and advised that it was a debate with one Evan Mawarire of #ThisFlag movement….,” Musarara said in his declaration.
“..As expected, listeners expressed various opinions through Facebook, twitter and call in on the content of the programme. Of interest, some listeners wanted to know who had invited the plaintiff to the programme. To the utmost surprise and dismay of plaintiff, defendant published a statement on her twitter account dubbed @RuvhenekoP, “Hello @jjwhitlaw please be very clear that I did not invite Tafadzwa Musarara. He was present, but not at my invitation.”
Musarara said Parirenyatwa’s twitter statement was “wrongful, false and malicious” and intentionally designed to make him be perceived by the general public as a bully who barged into the studio uninvited.
“….Consequently the statement triggered an avalanche of attacks and ridicule against plaintiff on social media and print media leading to plaintiff closing his Facebook account,” he said.
“Further local comedians weighed in and made several satirical statements on social media making ridicule of the plaintiff. A one Joshua Carl Ncube, a comedian of international repute, posted such material.”
Musarara said at one point he approached Parirenyatwa’s bosses who issued a press statement denouncing the latter’s statement.
He further said later his lawyers demanded an apology from Parirenyatwa and she personally drove to Musarara’s workplace whereupon she pleaded with him not to cause her to publicly apologise claiming it would yield public rage against her.
However, Musarara said in August this year, Parirenyatwa again posted on her Facebook account saying her last day on air was May 16 when she interviewed him and Mawarire, adding after that there were complications.
“…..Again plaintiff (Musarara) was attacked by several readers as having caused the defendant (Parirenyatwa) to be removed from the air after he had barged into the studio uninvited. The attacks were re-ignited. Defendant failed to honour her word,” he said.
Parirenyatwa has since entered an appearance to defend notice.-AMH