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Prof Jonathan Moyo takes on Daily News on Wikileaks coverage

by Staff reporter
08 September 2011 | 1698 Views
TSHOLOTSHO North MP Jonathan Moyo [Zanu PF] said Wednesday he is suing The Daily News over "criminal distortions" arising from the newspaper's coverage of the United States embassy cables leaked by WikiLeaks.

Moyo said he had "no problem" with a March 30, 2007, diplomatic cable written by former US ambassador to Zimbabwe, Christopher Dell, following a private meeting, adding: "But I have very serious legal issues with The Daily News who for reasons best known to themselves have decided to rewrite the original cable in a defamatory and criminal way."

The former Information Minister's lawyer Joseph Mandizha confirmed he had been instructed by Moyo to begin legal action against the newspaper.

In a September 6 article under the headline 'Moyo's plans to oust Mugabe', the paper claimed that the MP "endorsed travel and economic sanctions imposed on Mugabe's ruling elite by the US and other Western countries to the extent that he even offered suggestions on potential targets".

Moyo said: "Those claims are scandalously defamatory. There is absolutely nothing of the sort contained in the cable in question."

In another article headlined 'Moyo advised US on Zanu PF sanctions list' published on September 7, The Daily News reported that "Jonathan Moyo who has been very vocal on the contentious issue of sanctions advised the US government on key Zanu PF individuals he wanted placed on the restrictive measures, latest WikiLeaks have revealed".

The same article also claims that "Moyo advised that sanctions had to hit hard the key players in Zanu PF to weaken President Robert Mugabe and his party".

Moyo, who is under United States travel sanctions and was an independent MP at the time, said: "Given that the Zanu PF politburo and central committee were already on the list, myself included on grounds that I was a decision maker who had been an architect of laws such as AIPPA which are alleged to have narrowed democratic space in Zimbabwe, it is absurd and defamatory to suggest I sought the addition of any names to the list.

Moyo said he had asked his lawyers "not to waste time asking for a retraction from The Daily News" but issue them with summons straight away.

"Their malice in doctoring the cable is too apparent to the point of bordering on criminality," he said.

Moyo, who has repeatedly criticised western sanctions on Zimbabwe, is sensitive to suggestions he would have asked for the same sanctions to "hit hard" on Zanu PF officials, as claimed by The Daily News.

The Daily News' news editor Guthrie Munyuki said last night: "We are yet to get a copy of the summons, I imagine we will be in a better position to respond then."

Jonathan Moyo Wikileakds Daily News

Source: newzim


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