Right of Re­ply: Pas­tor Prime Kufa

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - COMMENT -

ON JUNE 11, 2017, The Sun­day Mail So­ci­ety car­ried Part 1 of a story ti­tled “Makandiwa vs mil­lion­aire cou­ple”, which ex­plores the bad re­la­tions be­tween United Fam­ily In­ter­na­tional Church leader Prophet Em­manuel Makandiwa and Mr Upenyu and Mrs Bless­ing Mashangwa. Part 2 is car­ried in the same sec­tion this week. The Sun­day Mail So­ci­ety, like it did with Part 1, last sought com­ment from Ufic spokesper­son Pas­tor Prime Kufa ahead of pub­li­ca­tion of Part 2. Pr Kufa had said he would com­ment through his lawyers be­fore The Sun­day Mail So­ci­ety went to print, but the re­sponse only came through af­ter the print­ing dead­line. As such, we pub­lish his re­sponse - which is largely a com­plaint about the first ar­ti­cle rather than a re­spose to our en­quiries - in full here as a pro­fes­sional and eth­i­cal duty. Our In­ves­ti­ga­tions Ed­i­tor Brian Chitemba in­formed Pr Kufa that he was seek­ing his re­sponses for pub­li­ca­tion, but the lat­ter says it was an “off the record con­ver­sa­tion” - even though Pr Kufa se­cretly recorded the in­ter­view. Pr Kufa has, in con­ver­sa­tions with our staff, con­firmed that he in­deed recorded the “off the record” con­ver­sa­tion. - Ed­i­tor.

*** We re­fer to the above mat­ter in which we ad­dress you at the spe­cial in­stance of our client Pas­tor Prime Ku­fakunesu, kindly, take note of our le­gal in­ter­est in the mat­ter. In­struc­tions from our client are that: (a) On 7 June at Café Nush Avon­dale, Harare from 8am up to just af­ter 10am, he held a dis­cus­sion with Messrs Brian Chitemba and De­sire Ncube on what was later re­ported in your 11 June 2017 Sun­day Mail is­sue un­der the head­ing “Makandiwa vs Mil­lion­aire cou­ple, Messy tus­sle over US$1 mil­lion, we were robbed, abused”.

(b) The dis­cus­sion was held af­ter both said gen­tle­men had un­der­taken ver­bally to our client that the com­ment/re­port they were get­ting was off the record and un­of­fi­cial and there­fore would not be pub­lished in your Sun­day Mail is­sue.

(c) Con­trary to that un­der­tak­ing and in be­tray of the trust/prom­ise Mr Chitemba has since caused the pub­li­ca­tion of our client’s un­of­fi­cial com­ment/re­port in your above said 11 June 2017 Sun­day Mail is­sue with­out hav­ing sought for and se­cured our client’s per­mis­sion to pub­lish it none­the­less or get an of­fi­cial one for pub­li­ca­tion.

(d) Our client strongly feels let down and hurt by the be­trayal es­pe­cially in view of that;

(i) The more than 2 hours com­ment off the record he gave which was sub­se­quently re­ported in no more than 3 sen­tences in the pa­per is not the of­fi­cial po­si­tion on the mat­ter.

(ii) The more than 2 hours com­ment off the record he gave is not even his (our client’s) of­fi­cial po­si­tion ei­ther as church spokesper­son or his per­sonal po­si­tion,

(iii) The Sun­day Mail re­port of what he said in more than two hours dis­cus­sion was con­densed into a sum­mary which put the whole dis­cus­sion out of con­text and thus mis­lead­ing.

Our client is of a very strong con­vic­tion that the be­trayal is un­pro­fes­sional and un­eth­i­cal to say the least.

He hereby reg­is­ters his strong dis­plea­sure on how he was be­trayed and mis­led by Mr Chitemba. He wants it placed on record that such be­trayal works against an other­wise good re­la­tion­ship which ex­isted hith­erto be­tween him as an in­di­vid­ual and also in his ca­pac­ity as his church spokesper­son in gen­eral on one hand and Mr Chitemba and your Sun­day Mail on the other.

Such be­trayal can re­sult in his side with hold­ing in­ter­views with your­selves in fu­ture.

Pro­fes­sion­al­ism and good eth­i­cal con­duct on your Mr Chitemba’s part de­mands that he sin­cerely apol­o­gises to our client whom he let down by the be­trayal. Need­less we state the apol­ogy will go a long way in nor­mal­is­ing sour re­la­tions be­tween the two camps.

We await your re­sponse by no later than 5 July 2017. Yours faith­fully, Stephen Mu­ram­basv­ina, Jarvis-Pal­fra­man Le­gal Prac­ti­tion­ers.

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