Home » Judicial » ANZ Editor’s Trial Fails to Start

The trial of Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe group editor Stanley Gama and journalist Thomas Fungisai Kwaramba, who are charged with criminal defamation, failed to start yesterday when the State asked defence lawyer Mr Alec Muchadehama to recuse himself.Gama and Kwaramba face the criminal defamation charges together with their employer, ANZ, which is represented by finance manager Zweli Sibanda.

Gama, Kwaramba and Sibanda appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Milton Serima facing three counts of criminally defaming businessman Mr Kamal Khalfan in a story published in the Daily News of January 6, 2014.

Prosecutor Ms Venencia Mtake made an application for Mr Muchadehama to recuse himself because he once represented Mr Khalfan in a different matter.

Mr Muchadehama, who had already engaged Aocate Zvikomborero Chadambuka, did not object and the matter was remanded to June 6.

Ms Mtake alleged that on January 6, Gama, Kwaramba and the ANZ published a story with the intention of harming Mr Khalfan’s reputation.

The paper wrote: “Kamal Khalfan boasts about his connections with top Government officials and how he could arrange deals with the Zimbabwe Government. Zimbabwe has lost billions of dollars in sleazy deals, especially involving gold and diamonds and some top Government ministers are believed to be behind the illicit activities bleeding the country”.

It is alleged that the Daily News published another false statement about Mr Khalfan on January 7.

It read: “This comes in the wake of the Daily News story exposing claims by Omani businessman Kamal Khalfan that he is politically connected and could assist in clinching multimillion-dollar deals with Harare established through his political connections.

“Khalfan’s e-mail exchange with a German businessman brings to force the widely held belief that ministers and other top Government officials are being used to siphon billions of dollars worth of resources from Zimbabwe.”

The Daily News is accused of publishing another defamatory statement about Mr Khalfan on January 29.

The trio are out of custody on free bail.

Source : The Herald