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Cablegate: Media Report Anz Sues Information Minister Moyo;

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

051322Z Aug 03

UNCLAS HARARE 001564

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/PDPA FOR DALTON, MITCHELL AND SIMS
NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER
LONDON FOR GURNEY
PARIS FOR NEARY
NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM KMDR ZI
SUBJECT: MEDIA REPORT ANZ SUES INFORMATION MINISTER MOYO;
HARARE


1. We have a classic case here in which the prey has
become the predator. Upset by "highly defamatory and
malicious attacks" by Information and Publicity Minister
Jonathan Moyo, the independent Associated Newspapers of
Zimbabwe (ANZ) - publishers of the "Daily News" and its
sister weekly the "Daily News On Sunday" - has filed a Z$58
million defamation suit against the minister, including the
state-owned Zimbabwe Newspapers (ZIMPAERS) group -
publishers of "The Herald" and six other titles - and
Nathaniel Manheru, a columnist for ZIMPAPERS' flagship "The
Herald" newspaper. According to an article carried in the
August 5 edition of the independent daily "The Daily News,"
under headline "ANZ files $58m defamation suit against
Moyo, Herald," ANZ secretary and chief legal advisor
Gugulethu Moyo is reported to have instructed ANZ lawyers
to issue summons against Moyo in his personal capacity.
ANZ is suing Moyo over various statements he allegedly made
in the state media attacking and bringing into question the
integrity of the ANZ newspapers and their editorial staff.
2. Among the offending stories cited in the summons is an
article carried in the May 17 edition of "The Herald." In
the article, Moyo is alleged to have attacked "The Daily
News," its staff and the ANZ Group non-executive chairman
Strive Masiyiwa over a story about a plan proposed by the
international community to help lift Zimbabwe out of the
current economic crisis. Another defamatory article cited
in the summons appeared in "The Herald" of June 10, in
which Information Minister Moyo is quoted "accusing
Masiyiwa of using `The Daily News' to destabilize Zimbabwe"
and also harboring presidential ambitions. In the June 14
edition of "The Herald", Manheru allegedly wrote and
ZIMPAPERS published and distributed an article suggesting
that Masiyiwa owned and ran a newspaper "to advance his
personal interests in opposition politics." According to
an unnamed official, ANZ has "more than 300 articles in
which he (Moyo) has made statements which were untrue,
defamatory and highly prejudicial to the newspaper group."
Information and Publicity Minister Jonathan Moyo is yet to
file his papers at court responding to the ANZ suit against
him.

WHITEHEAD

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