In a dramatic and abrupt shifting of goal posts, a staggering US$20 Million lawsuit has literally forced a Zimbabwean mainstream newspaper to beg for mercy and learn the hard way.
Prophet Walter Magaya filed a $20 million lawsuit against Alpha Media Holdings on Wednesday over an article published in the NewsDay insinuating that he faced murder charges following the death of a baby boy at his church.
The summons were filed on Wednesday at the High Court by Prophet Magaya's lawyer, Mr Everson Chatambudza of Rubaya and Chatambudza Legal Practitioners, under case number HC6184-2014. The man of God is claiming US$20 million plus interest at the rate of 5 percent per annum calculated from the date of issuance of summons to the date of payment in full.
However, Newsday, supposedly shocked by the unbelievable and pricey lawsuit, the newspaper has begged for forgiveness through an article titled 'Magaya not linked to child death'.
The article reads:
"In our issue of July 17, we published a story under the headline Magaya faces murder charges, which has caused harm to Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries (PHD) leader Prophet Walter Magaya.
The story stated that PHD leader Prophet Magaya had been sucked into a murder case involving the death of a Dotito woman’s seven-week-old child under unclear circumstances at PHD Ministries in Harare.
The headline and the story created the impression that the cleric was being investigated for murder of the child.
It has come to our attention that that was not the case. Prophet Magaya is not linked whatsoever to the death of the child. The correct position pertaining to the issue is that a notification of death was made to Waterfalls Police Station and this had nothing to do with Prophet Magaya. There was never a murder charge against Prophet Magaya.
We have also established that no docket on a murder charge has been opened against Prophet Magaya in connection with the death of the child. It has come to our attention that the child was not feeling well and had been attended to at a hospital in Mt Darwin and diagonised with pneumonia prior to the child being taken to PHD Ministries.
A post-mortem conducted by a Cuban pathologist found that the child died of pneumonia and police confirmed that they were still investigating the circumstances behind the death of the child, which is contrary to what we stated in story that Prophet Magaya was being investigated for the case.
We, therefore, retract the story of July 17 and unreservedly apologise for any anxieties and inconveniences that this story may have caused to Prophet Magaya and PHD Ministries. — EDITOR"