Zim company could sue private newspapers

A Zimbabwean company was granted permission to sue two private dailies for misrepresentation.

A Zimbabwean company was granted permission to sue two private dailies for misrepresentation.

ZIMBABWE - A Zimbabwean company was given the go-ahead to sue two private newspapers for publishing stories about political violence that the firm claims scared away foreign investors.

Critics said the case, if successful, could have a chilling effect on the private media, which may think twice about reporting on political violence.

Vakakora Capital is reported to be linked to a prominent Zanu-PF official.

A high court judge ruled that the company can sue NewsDay and the Daily News over articles on political violence published in May 2011.

Vakakora claims that a Namibian bank cancelled a $250 million loan after reading the articles, which it said were a misrepresentation of the situation in Zimbabwe.

Judge November Mtshiya said that the company had a valid claim and may sue for $50 million.

Media Monitoring Project's Andy Moyse said Vakakora will have to prove that the reports in the papers were not true.