Mengi files eight defamation suits against 13 journalists 2009-03-13 11:31:10 By Bilham Kimati IPP Executive Chairman Reginald Mengi has filed eight defamation lawsuits at the High Court in Dar es Salaam against thirteen practitioners representing different media houses that published stories with malicious intention. Addressing the media in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Michael Ngalo of Ngalo and Company Advocates, who also represents the IPP Chairman in the lawsuits said the unknown motives behind the slanderous publication against his client would be judged in the court of law. He said the lawsuits had been filed in the High Court on March 11, this year, and the next step after appraisal by the Judge In-Charge would be allocation of the cases to judges. ``My client demands an apology, denial of the malicious publications against him and cost of damages of 1bn/- for each lawsuit filed,`` Ngalo added. Reading a statement that entailed the names of the journalists, who are lined up to face justice, Ngalo said since December last year, some local newspapers had been persistently attacking his client through publications of stories with ill-intentions against his personal life, family and business. Part of the statement reads: ``The attacks started as the drive or war to expose those involved in public embezzlement (Mafisadi) gained momentum. The harassment has reached intolerable level. For example, among the misleading publications mentioned about the economic hardships endured by Mengi`s sisters back home in Kilimanjaro Region, while the reality is that his sisters died nearly ten years ago,`` ``Another lie published against my client,`` said Ngalo, ``was about production and supply by the IPP Group of companies of an assortment of cosmetics banned in East Africa on health grounds, the kind of business that Mengi has never laid his hand on. Again they lied on the cause of death of his son. This is painful, unacceptable and enough is enough we have decided to take the matter to court``. The lawyer said there had been some underground attempts by some newspapers to publish stories full of lies with the aim to offend his client, family and disrepute his business operations. ``This has to be stopped. To start with, IPP Executive Chairman filed the lawsuits to the High Court seeking legal measures against the media houses and those involved in the fabrication and publication of stories,`` said part of the statement. However, the lawyer said his client had a clear message to those inclined to frustrate government efforts and all people in support of the war against embezzlement of public funds. ``The fight was unrelenting and victory was certain. It is important for all suspects to realise that the general public is already badly affected socially and economically by the acts of those who have lost public trust (Mafisadi), and will continue to stand against them, and any irrational attack against Mengi and his media outlets would not weaken them,`` concluded the statement. He named the journalists to be taken to court as Bollen Ngetti, Christopher Buke, Albert Kahogo, Zahaq Rashid and Anthony Maono. Others are Hemed Adam Kimwaga, Charles Mhando, Charles Charles and Julius Mapunda. Others more are Selehe Alli, Prince Bagenda, Salum Mnete and Eric Anthony. My Take: Nadhani atakuwa amesikia ukosoaji wa JF na watu wengi hapa kwamba badala ya kulalamika kuwa anaandamwa aende mahakamani. Hii ni kinyume na matishio yaliyotolewa na wale wengine waliodai kuwa wanaonewa. So, sasa mahakama itabidi iamue.