In papers lodged at the High Court, Moyo’s lawyer Joshua Shekede of Wintertons Legal Practitioners said the article was defamatory because it stated that the businessman, who was allegedly being sought by the police over a fraud case, sneaked into the country for the private wedding at a local hotel.
The editor of H-Metro Lawrence Moyo is cited as the first defendant while Zimpapers, the publishers of the newspaper, are the second defendants.
The story was published on December 6 2010 following Moyo’s wedding to one Maria Rosa Nyambuya who lives in the UK.
Shekede said in the article Moyo was portrayed as a person who was entering into a marriage of convenience by marrying a British citizen in order to secure residency or citizenship in the UK.
The article, said Shekede, also stated that Moyo failed to inform Father Mukamba, who presided over the wedding, in time that his role was only to bless the marriage, which had already been solemnised by a magistrate.
According to court documents, the article also stated that at one time Moyo borrowed some cattle from a relative, which he was now failing to return thereby causing “numerous miscarriages for the relative” but could afford hosting an expensive wedding at a hotel.
“The said words, in the context article, are wrongful and defamatory of the Plaintiff in that they were intended and were understood by readers of the newspaper to mean that the Plaintiff (Moyo) is dishonest, without moral fibre and is not a law-abiding citizen,” reads part of the application.
Apart from the US$1 million, Moyo, a renowned farmer, is also claiming interest at the prescribed rate from the date of publication to full and final payment as well as costs of the suit.
In opposing papers, the defendants denied that words used were defamatory or understood as alleged.
They also deny that Moyo suffered damages in the amount claimed or at all.