Right of Reply: Pastor Prime Kufa
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verbally to our client that the comment/report they were getting was off the record and unofficial and therefore would not be published in your Sunday Mail issue.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.