Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) spokesperson, Fadzayi Mahere has confronted Edmund Kudzayi over an article that suggested that the law expert had an affair with a married man. An article posted by Kukurigo claimed that Mahere had an affair with an “economist and micro-financier Tinashe Murapata, a prolific commentator on economic policy.” In a letter seen by Pindula News, Mahere wants Kudzayi, who was at some point labelled Baba Jukwa, to publish a retraction of the story or be sued. Reads the letter sent through Mahere’s lawyers:
RE: PUBLICATION OF FALSE AND DEFAMATORY STATEMENTS — FADZAYI MAHERE
We act for Advocate Fadzayi Mahere in this matter. Kindly direct all future correspondence to our offices.
We are instructed that on 4 July 2022, following a series of tweets in which you threatened to publish “Mahere story and pictures with a married man”, you indicated the following in reference to our client:
“There is nothing honourable about having sex with married men and wrecking marriages…”.
Thereafter, on 5 July 2022, a story was published through the Kukurigo platform which is distributed through whatsapp groups to more than 46 000 members, in which it was alleged that:
“allegations of infidelity involving… Fadzayi Mahere ended in the collapse of the businessman’s marriage…”
The story, which includes numerous insinuations relating to our client, went on to state that:
“The two are said to have travelled together to [a] funeral… in Masvingo and slept there under unclear circumstances…”
Concerningly, the story attempts to link the wholly unsubstantiated allegations with our Client’s professional role as spokesperson for the Citizen’s Coalition for Change, setting out that:
“Senior leadership in the CCC is reportedly aware of the relationship” and indicating that “the CCCs lack of formal structures, a constitution or code of conduct guiding the acceptable standards of ethical and moral conduct. There are effectively no means by which the party could discipline Mahere”.
The story has since been published on multiple social media pages and media sites, including H-Metro, Gambakwe Media, Zim News Online and Zimetro. You are listed as the editor of Kukurigo and are an administrator on the WhatsApp groups and are therefore responsible for the publications sent out through that platform.
There is a clear implication in the published story as well as your tweets leading up to such publication, to the effect that our client was involved in an affair with a married man which resulted in the breakdown of his marriage. Such untruths have the effect of harming our client’s character as well as her professional and personal reputation. For the avoidance of doubt, it is categorically denied that our Client has had an affair with any married man, or that she is responsible for the breakdown of any marriage.
It is noted that there are admissions in the article that the same was published without input from our client, the named businessman or his wife. It is therefore clear that any ‘source’ for the story would be relying upon hearsay and not fact. The allegations set out therein are untrue, unsubstantiated and the basic tenets of fair and unbiased journalism have been disregarded.
To that end, we are instructed to demand, as we hereby do, that you publish a retraction of the story and clarify on both your Twitter page and through the Kukurigo platform that there is no evidence that our client had an affair with the named individual, nor is there any evidence that she was in any way involved in the breakdown of his marriage, which marriage was — according to your reports — terminated more than eighteen months ago. The same should be published within twenty-four (24) hours of receipt of this letter, failing which we have instructions to institute legal action against you.
We advise accordingly. Yours faithfully,
HONEY & BLANCKENBERG CC: Client