Makova who filed a US$ 100 000 lawsuit against the Masvingo Mirror newspaper over an article written in July 2009 told High Court Judge Justice Susan Mavhangira this week that Zanu (PF) was looking for lawyers, supplying food, transport and any other help needed by the youths who were all convicted for political violence in Bikita.
“I was not assisting the convicted people on my personal capacity. The party Zanu (PF) set down and decided to help them… We were also visiting them from time to time,” Makova told the court.
He said this during the trial of a matter between him and Masvingo Mirror newspaper where he is claiming that the paper’s issue of 3 -9 July 2009 carried an article titled ‘Big war in Bikita’ portrayed him as a terrorist, stupid and greedy.
By saying Makova was allegedly terrorising mine workers; the plaintiff said ordinary readers understood the statement to mean he was a terrorist. He claimed people abroad including his cousin in the USA read the story on the internet. However, he was told that the paper was not yet online by the time the article in question was published.
However, after asked by the defence lawyer Andrew Demo of Chihambakwe, Mutizwa and Patners to justify how he arrived at US$ 100 000, he stammered and kept quiet for a while before saying only the court would know the most appropriate amount.
The third defendant who wrote the story in dispute, Golden Maunganidze, denied having defamed the plaintiff saying Makova was given his fair chance of telling the readers his own side of the story.
“This is a good example of a well balanced story with all sides given chance to comment. The story is balanced, fair and accurate,” said Maunganidze.
The trial took two continuous days before the case was closed. The Judge ordered both lawyers to make their submissions by day end on 19 December 2011 when judgment is expected to be handed down.