26 January 2017
MODEL Tafadzwa Mushunje yesterday lost a case in which she was claiming US$100 000 from Zimpapers in defamation damages.
Mushunje, who initially made a US$2m lawsuit before reducing the quantum to US$100 000, had her claim dismissed with costs by High Court judge justice Jester Helena Charehwa.
Through her lawyer Fungai Chimwamurombe, Mushunje claimed Zimpapers defamed her through the articles published by H-Metro and its sister paper, The Herald.
H-Metro and The Herald wrote articles after she was taken to court on allegations of injecting HIV infected blood into her ex-lover’s two-year-old son.
She was also accused of assaulting the boy on separate occasions and forcing the child to drink her urine.
The State withdrew the matter before trial after it was discovered that the model was HIV negative.
In her claim, Mushunje said:
“On the 26th of February 2016 and the 1st of March, the defendant’s Herald newspaper and the H-Metro newspaper of the 26th of February 2016 published articles regarding the Plaintiff which were false, malicious and injurious to her reputation as a professional model.
“The contents of the defendants’ aforesaid newspapers articles were wrongful and defamatory of the plaintiff in that:
“They contained falsehoods claiming that the plaintiff is HIV positive and she inflicted a certain minor child fathered by Collin Kanonge with the HIV virus through a syringe.
“And that she further assaulted the said minor child by forcing him to drink her urine.
“As a result of the defamation, plaintiff has been damaged in her self-esteem, personal dignity and professional integrity and reputation and reputation as a model and has suffered damages in the sum of US$100 000,” she said.
In her papers, Mushunje claimed that H-Metro and The Herald new that the articles were false before publication and went on to publish them.
She also said the two newspapers failed to make an apology after she demanded a retraction.
“Despite demand, and having knowledge that the above allegations were false, the defendant has failed to tender an apology or to retract its false publication and to pay the above mentioned damages,” she said.
Mushunje’s claim was however dismissed with costs after trial.
Zimpapers was being represented by lawyer Oscar Gasva and Martha Chirimuuta of Chirimuuta and Associates.