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Benson Matinyarare ordered to pull down defamatory material from X

by Staff reporter
15 Mar 2024 at 07:07hrs | Views
The High Court has granted a provisional order directing social media activist Rutendo Benson Matinyarare to pull down from X (formerly Twitter ) defamatory material against members of the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) which he posted on the online platform.

Justice Samuel Gede yesterday also prohibited Matinyarare from publishing any more defamatory content against GMAZ members.

Matinyarare published articles containing claims that GMAZ deemed to be harmful to the reputation of the organisation and its members, prompting the court application.

Responding to an announcement that GMAZ intended to import 1,1 million tonnes of maize to augment Government efforts to ensure the availability of maize meal in the country, Matinyarare posted an article titled "Innscor GMOS risks exposing Zimbabweans, Zambians, Kenyans & others to biological weapons".

Matinyarare alleged that the millers wanted to import Genetically Modified maize which he said had side effects if consumed by humans.

Matinyarare also posted on his X account, an article titled "Tafadzwa Musarara's claim that GMOs don't have side effects is not scientific."

Mr Musarara is the chairperson of GMAZ.

In a court action filed on Monday, GMAZ cited Mr Matinyarare and the National Biotechnology Authority of Zimbabwe as respondents.

GMAZ sought an interdict stopping Matinyarare from publishing any further content considered defamatory against its members, until the finalisation of the suit. In its court papers, GMAZ said that the tweets published by Matinyarare remained available online to readers and anyone researching the millers' association would encounter the defamatory material. "The harm, therefore, continues to be suffered by the applicant, if not urgently averted," said GMAZ.

"There is also a real apprehension that the first respondent at any moment may post further defamatory content to the extreme prejudice of the applicant members," GMAZ said.

GMAZ's application was granted by the court with the association's lawyer Mr Simon Chivizhe saying he expected Matinyarare to comply with the order.

Source - The Herald