Shamiso Tavarova and Donald Manenji vs. TellZim (1 March 2018)

Donald Manenji and Shamiso Tavarova registered their complaint with the Media Complaints Committee (MCC) over an article published by TellZim on 2nd - 8th March headlined, “Mhunga Up for Assault”.

The complainants are aggrieved as they argue that the whole article is false and characterised by misrepresentations of the actual events being reported on. They raise the following issues of concern:

·         That none of them assaulted anyone as reported in the article. They argue that the correct position is that they and their friends cited in the story were actually the victims of violence and complainants in the matter which was subsequently reported to the police

·         Donald also disputes allegations made in the story that he filed a medical affidavit for one of the victims of assault. He says that he is a nurse by profession and as a result of this false claim in the story and other related false allegations, his employment has been affected as his practising certificate has been suspended.

·         Donald says his professional reputation has been affected as he is currently blacklisted and cannot be employed elsewhere pending investigations. He says this situation has resulted in loss of income

·         Shamiso is also further aggrieved by the association of her family name, “Mhunga” with the story and incidents of assault reported on, arguing that while she uses the name Taruvinga rather than the family name “Mhunga”, her family has nevertheless been tarnished by association with the story as her father is a prominent businessman in Masvingo.

·         Shamiso also says that she was not given an opportunity to air her side of the story

·         Both complainants also dispute that police records are the source of the story as allegedly indicated by TellZim in an earlier engagement between the parties. The complainants argue that this position has not been corroborated by the police. They further argue that, according to the available police documents, they are the victims and complainants rather than the aggressors and accused as portrayed in the article published by TellZim.

·         The complainants are seeking relief in the form of an audience with the editor as well as an apology and retraction.


Status: Pending

The complaint has been brought to the attention of the editor, Passmore Kuzipa.