mapambano yanaendelea.....? DAILY NEWS: Monday December 21, 2009 THE High Court has allowed Igunga Member of Parliament Rostam Aziz and three other defendants to file their defence, seeking dismissal of the suit, lodged against them by IPP Executive Chairman Reginald Mengi, demanding, among others 1.5bn/- damages for defamation. Judge Zainabu Mruke made the decision last week when the case was mentioned before her. Advocate Margreth Ringo, for Rostam, Mtanzania Newspapers editor and New Habari (2006) Limited, requested the court to allow her to file the defence for her clients by December 31. The judge further granted a similar application by advocate Gaudiosis Ishengoma, who represents another defendant, Imprint Limited, to file his written statement of defence, seeking dismissal of the suit in question by January 8, next year. The case will be mentioned on February 8, 2010. In the suit, Mr Mengi is suing the defendants claiming to have been defamed having published an article involving NICOL Company. Apart from being paid damages, the businessman is also asking the court to order the defendants to apologize and publish retraction of defamatory statements. The defendants published the article in the newspaper issue number 4917 of October 29, 2009, under the headlines, Mamlaka zaajiza Mengi, Simba wafukuzwe NICOL, Baada ya kufukuzwa wakurugenzi, kufikishwa kortini, Wasisitiza walitaka kughushi mahesabu ya kampuni hiyo. Mr Mengi alleges that the joint press statements by Capital Markets and Securities Authority, Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange, Business Registration and Licensing Agency and National Board of Accounts and Auditors relied by defendants never mentioned him or Simba that they should be expelled. He claims further that such article was understood to mean he was unprofessional and unethical, untrustworthy and dishonest, a thief or swindler of NICOL funds and a person who should be arrested, charged with theft and forgery and be convicted and sentenced to imprisonment. He claims that the MP authored or caused to be authored the headings with ill-motive to incite NICOL shareholders and the general public to turn up against him so that he could be arrested on allegations of forging or attempted to forge accounts of NICOL. According to him, the defendants ought to have known that such headings were untrue both in facts and in law and, hence, libelous of him not only as an ordinary man but also as a professional accountant, a successful businessman and entrepreneur in Tanzania. In the publications, Mr Mengi alleges, were malicious and well calculated campaign by defendants to tarnish and lower his reputation and integrity, hence, exposing him to public ridicule and contempt and subjected him to mental torture, annoyance, inconvenience and inestimable embarrassments.