Businessman Mr Wicknell Chivayo says he does not understand the Shona language that is used in the $500 000 suit filed by Sunday Mail journalist Garikai Mazara and that the vernacular parts must be expunged from the plaintiff’s declaration.
Mr Chivayo is being sued for injuria after allegedly hurling obscenities at Mazara.
A team of advocates comprising Mr Thabani Mpofu, Mr Silvester Hashiti, Ms Regina Mabwe and Mr Nelson Chamisa filed an application excepting to the claim.
The Advocates argued that paragraph 4 of the declaration, which forms the basis of the injuria claim, was written in Shona and other languages that Mr Chivayo has failed to comprehend.
The paragraph contains WhatsApp messages that were allegedly sent by Mr Chivayo insulting Mazara.
Phrases like “Musatanyoko wamai vako” among others dominate the fourth paragraph of the declaration and the lawyers demand the translation and definition of such terms.
The lawyers, in the exception application, stated that the language used was improper.
“Plaintiff founds his claim on the words set out in paragraph 4 of his declaration.
“The words on the basis upon which he founds his claim are not set out in the language of record and no direct translation is rendered on the meaning of those words.
“The claim is consequently founded upon words that are meaningless, which have no legal consequence and which do not prima facie show any impairment of plaintiff’s dignity,” reads part of the application.
The lawyers argued that the claim was incompetent, bad in law and awfully presented.
They also submitted that the words used were vague and embarrassing.
Mr Chivayo wants the fourth paragraph, which is the crux of the $500 000 claim, to be struck out.
Other messages quoted in the paragraph in question read; “Urimbwa yemunhu unofa uchishupika”
“On your profile picture muromo wakafunuka. I’m sure inzara and mapundu ese ayo, asi une Aids?”
The lawyers argued that the messages were humiliating, degrading and ignominious.
“As a result of the said words, plaintiff (Mazara) felt undignified, disesteemed, wretched, ridiculed, demeaned and deprived of his peace and tranquillity of mind,” Mazara’s lawyers argued.
The High Court is yet to set the exception case down for hearing.