Mr Given Mapukute and his wife Ruramai Nhakuzah are suing a Silobela woman Ms Loice Siziba of Canaan Village under Chief Gobo for allegedly posting a defamatory post about them on popular social media site Facebook, The Herald reports.
The couple is reportedly seeking damages amounting to $45 million:
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- Defamation in the sum of $5million,
- Actual loss of business in the sum of $25 million and
- Loss of future business $15 million plus costs of suit.
It it alleged that Siziba first sent a threatening message to the couple which reportedly owes her between $3000 and $4000 earlier this year and claimed she was going to go to a witch doctor as a way to sort them out for not repaying the debt. Siziba reportedly sent the following message to the couple:
Good morning, I’m done with your nonsense I’m going to sort you guys out not nzira yelaw (not the legal way) coz you seem to be stubborn. I’m going to go on and pay strongest sangoma (witch-doctor) like Baba Banda you whole family will suffer. Please save this message you will come for help (sic) it will be too late
She reportedly went on to expose the couple using a Facebook Group titled: Verified 11 Exposing Zim shurugwis all over the world.
The couple is alleging that the Facebook post which is still available on Facebook, made them lose business because it is in the public domain, according to the publication:
It is argued that as a result of the said defamatory statement being made on such a public platform, Mr Mapukute lost a tender worth an equivalent value of the sum of $25 million, after the procurement committee of the tender, during an assessment of suitability and investigation on him came across the public post.
Further to that, couple claim that also risk losing future business. “This is because, each time any person searches for couple’s names on Facebook, the post is the first post that pops up on the Facebook newsfeed,” said the couple.
“As a result of the defamation, the plaintiffs’ have also suffered psychological trauma, stress, and anxiety for the loss of the tender and the risk of future business loss”
The $45 million lawsuit was filed last week and Siziba is yet to respond to the claims.
More: The Herald