President Robert Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao has given The Herald an ultimatum to publish an apology following a “damaging” article written by columnist Reason Wafawarova.
Through his lawyers from Dube-Banda, Nzarayapenga & Partners, Zhuwao wrote to The Herald editor Caesar Zvayi on Tuesday, demanding an apology within 48 hours.
Zhuwao is contesting the contents of an article titled Zanu PF: Unite or perish.
Zhuwao argued that the article was aimed at maligning him and portraying him as a person who promoted conflict, disunity and was pushing for the destruction of Zanu PF and wishing for Mugabe’s death.
“The statements were clearly calculated to injure and impair our client’s dignity, reputation and image in the eyes of all the people who read them,” Zhuwao’s lawyers claimed.
The statements were defamatory and sought to portray him as a tribalist, bearing divisive and treasonous tendencies, he said.
The article reads, “(Minister Jonathan Moyo) has allies in the political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere and Youth minister Patrick Zhuwao and it seems the three are united by a shared distaste for VP (Emmerson) Mnangagwa’s political career. It is not clear if the motivation for the distaste is a shared one, but what is clear is that the triumvirate has caused disunity in the revolutionary party.”
The lawyers said Zhuwao had painstakingly nurtured his reputation as a private citizen of Zimbabwe and as a member of the Zanu PF central committee.
“He is looked upon to, and does in fact conduct himself in a dignified and respectable manner to the millions of Zimbabweans whom he serves,” the lawyers said.
“Our instructions are to demand as we hereby do, that, within 48 hours or alternatively in your publication of Wednesday the 24th of February 2016, you immediately issue a written apology and a full retraction of the grossly defamatory statements you have published.
“The apology and retraction must be displayed prominently in your publication. The retraction may ameliorate the damages ours shall be claiming from your media institution, yourself and (Mr) Reason Wafawarova.