Viola sues Malawi News for defamation: Demanding K250m in aggravated damages

Beleaguered Presidential Press Secretary, Gerald Viola on Wednesday, sued Malawi media giant, Times Group, on defamation charges over the story which appeared in the Malawi News alleging that Viola told the grouping that President Peter Mutharika may contemplate buying a jet once the economy improves.

Viola : Presidential press secretary sues

Viola : Presidential press secretary sues

According to the writ of summons filed at the High Court in Blantyre, Viola is asking for compensation for publishing “false” information to the public.

Viola’s lawyer, Ambokile Salim, in an interview with Nyasa Times confirmed that his client has indeed instructed him to sue the author of the story Gregory Gondwe as the first respondent, the editor as the second respondent and Times Group as the third respondent.

In a separate interview, Viola confirmed to have instructed his lawyers to sue the newspaper.

“Yes it is true that I have instructed my lawyers to commerce legal proceedings against times Group for the damages that I have suffered following their story in which they quoted me that President Peter Mutharika might consider buying the jet, I view that as total misrepresentation of facts,” said Viola.

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47 thoughts on “Viola sues Malawi News for defamation: Demanding K250m in aggravated damages”

  1. Manzi okeke ikechukwu says:

    A viola matama mwagwa nayotu apa

  2. KoKolikoko says:

    Ngati mukufuna mumuyipitsire mbiri nzanu mwakhaula bola ife tikudziwa chilungamo!!!

    vyla cant say that!”!!’

    you stupid journalist if posibo change your false writtings you cant improve if you can prolong with your misceleneous …………..

  3. levelheaded says:

    Vyola did not call the president a puppet either. Times TV quoted him as saying some of the appointments in the government are not directly made by the president(which is normal in a democracy), later nyasatimes took advantage of that and reported as vyola saying so. They took reference to what one Mtata said of the president being a puppet(when most decisions are made by subbodinates instead of the president himself). The fight that is in the media isn’t that health at all.

    Remember that the Vyola you are fighting is a fellow journalist and a bonafied member of MISA Malawi.

  4. John says:


  5. ngongoliwa says:

    K250m is just an estimate. It can go up to K450m. Hahahaha mwana nsena watola chikwama basi.

  6. JB says:

    yakula ndi nsanje. Gerald spoke very well but people are deriberately twisting the truth. sue them indeed. i know many people want the position even those who were kicked out of state house. people want to see APM changing press officers now and again, the same people amanyozanso APM ati he is intolorable, saupeza mtima. my advice to you Gerald: please dont get distructed, forcase on your job. Bravo!!

  7. Omex70 says:

    Foolish Viola. Your stupid mouth is the one which has put you in trouble not otherwise.

  8. Denguzman says:

    Voola, Voola apa ndiye Vooladi. Nanga apa tinene kuti pali ntchito apa? Ukamwa tea ndi anthu andale osamatukwana anthu amene ali kutali ndi anthu andale.

  9. lemani says:

    Viola knows what he is doing. As a person he has the right to seek some help from the people he thinks can bring the help to him

  10. Therere says:

    Pali kanthu apa, we have problems with our reporters they are not professional, they lean to a party and they don’t balance their stories

  11. Thako la njoka says:

    Alipe bax

  12. Preciousmaulidibanda says:

    Bwana viola ntchto mwaigwila, pumani alowepo anzanu

  13. Sindi says:

    250 million taxpayers money ? hehehehe!!!!!!!. You and your lawyers are a big joke. Even if the courts found Times Group guilty, would the compensation be that absurd?

  14. peter mshali ku salima says:

    viola dont run from truth although u didnt mention it directly sometimes some words used refer to the facts the writer wrote,so watch ur words when speaking state house issues,APM can not fire u amadziwa kuti ananu u mumathamanga kuyankhula

  15. Ndoda yabwandila says:

    Oooh Ohhh ! Tso m’bzindalama tu
    akhupuka Viola yu. Koma sadzi
    kwata ni chala ameneyu? Khobidi
    lachuluka ili ngati opepesa tate
    wa dziko nthena chala nadi

  16. ntha..... says:

    Trivial issues Out of court to sorted out of court. a Viola kutha ma plan akuopa kuchoka ku state house.

  17. Truth shall prevail says:

    Iwe chipoya comment no. 21 sizikumveka zimene ukunena.

  18. levelheaded says:

    Fellow Malawians! Compasation is calculated according to the damage that the said defamation has or would cause to perpetuated party. In Vyola’s case that would be calculated on the salary he would get for the entire term of five years or The salary he would get in two consecutive terms of office say he won trust from the president Who might regard renewing his contract of which all these would reverse due to that defamation. They also calculate the impact it would or has been caused to the public and what publication was used, in this case the news paper which is read both locally and internationally through on line. Another thing is how the offender benefitted with the said publication which in the case of times news; they made a lot of money in selling that paper including the adds it carried. So 250 million kwacha isn’t that too much to cover all these.

  19. Viola the problem is when you have the mike you really teased your media colleagues misquoting them how they misreported on the UN TRIP during the presidential briefing ! You remember that ?! Now it was your payback time eish it was hard hitting you really felt it now. That is how this game is being played – I thought you knew it as a media man. Anyway try your luck with the courts it will be hard one for you – I wished you simply mended fences with your media colleagues and do not misquote your media colleagues to win favours from your bosses that was very silly – you did not think as a clever person .

  20. Clement says:

    Atolankhani sibwino kumaonjezera mawu pa zomwe munthu sanayankhure. Njiru siyabwino lero viola akuoneka woipa pa nkhani yopeka Gregory. Zioneka mathero ake

  21. Kenkkk says:

    Viola, you can’t win this one based on the reasons you have given. I thought you would go for the allegations that you called the president a puppet. You have no chance on misinterpretation or misrepresentation claim.

    Actually most of us a few months ago recommended that the govt should buy the jet once the economy improves. I recall even a govt spokesman concurred with that. So I see nothing wrong with that whether you said or didn’t.

  22. Praise says:

    Kkkkkk. 250m. Kufuna kulemera!

  23. musisipala says:

    What is wrong with Viola saying, we will buy the plane if the economy gets better? .After all this is our money and Not Peters money since he doesn’t pay tax

  24. air walker says:

    akumvetsa chisoni nkhopeyo. anyway, i didn’t listen to the interview but i hope he knows that they can also counter-sue eith costs. kwathu n’kungowona

  25. Bwantasa says:

    I honestly dont see anything wrong with wht he said…i think taking the legal route is just going to exhaust him…sanatukwane..he made a very logical observation..ndege igulidwa economy ikapanga improve..

  26. Chipoya LJ. says:

    I did listen the whole interview and am privileged to have the video but
    He didn’t say President Arthur Peter Mutharika would buy.

    For the exact words that Mr Viola said check Malawi News of 31 October and read paragraphs 5 and 6.

    The problem is with some media houses’ (like Times Media) Editorial Policies which use to be pro-opposition always. We are talking of 250 Million here, kaya Musova a TImes (Gregory Gondwe)

    All in all, GOD Bless Malawi!!!!!!!!

  27. Chipoya LJ. says:

    I did listen the whole interview and am privileged to have the video but
    He didn’t say President Arthur Peter Mutharika would buy.

    For the exact words that Mr Viola said check Malawi News of 31 October and read paragraphs 5 and 6.

    The problem is with some media houses’ (like Times Media) Editorial Policies which use to be pro-opposition always. We are talking of 250 Million here, kaya Musova a TImes (Gregory Gondwe)

    All in all, GOD Bless Malawi!!!!!!!

  28. Chibanja tv says:

    Kumangolemba ma comment a ziiiiiiiii! apa mwamva chizungucho? akuti ‘misrepresentation of facts’ meaning he might say that but meant in a different way and one go to court after having legal advice ndiye a congress mungobwetuka apa ndizinthu zosakukhuzani, ndale zomwezi mwapenga nazo eti! you think Gerald is more of a fool just wait and see, he will be a millioneer soon.

  29. Fortune Nuka says:

    What goes around,comes around-ndizimezo Viola.

  30. Achipate chichinanu says:

    Viola i think wabalalika..why dont you sue those who intevewed you?instead you are blaming lesteners and viewers kkkkk mesa umakamba wekha ndipakamwa pakopopo nde mudziwa mlomwe wawa!!’once they think something they are never put it off ‘ndi ndimalamulo amulakho amenewo kaya kunali kuyetsa zina nde mwayeselera pachabe

  31. The Analyst says:

    Koma nde kuyiwerengatu! Mpaka K250 million?

    Viola and Salim, How did you arrive at the K250m figure? This must be some advanced probability or differential calculus or econometrics.

    Of course money, we have not in our pockets; but greed and money hungriness should not be celebrated in public lest we lose other opportunities (lying in wait for us) coz money-hungry pockets cant be trusted.

    Only if the ‘false’ news has cost you your job can the Group be dragged to court for monetary compensation and the amount will at least be the money (in real terms) you would have received to the end of your contract had you not been fired.

    But you are not fired! Are you? Tell us!

    Errors are also likely to occur in the projection/calculation coz you would be assuming (in your advanced probability) that you would be alive to the end of the contract. But this is a very strong assumption coz tomorrow is promised to no one!

    It therefore helps to know that money is not the only thing that can be demanded for compensation. An apology or/and a retraction or disavowment or abjurement or rescindment of the news is also an alternative, among others.

  32. ben phiri says:

    Uvetsa man VIOLA awa ndi materazi next is cardiac Umaona ngati Udolo , dolo ndi man BRIAN BANDA he deserve to work with BBC pa programme ya HARD TALK

  33. Nankununkha sadzimva says:

    The audio/video clip will be tendered in court as evidence ndiye ngati munanenadi ndiye basi nyolonyo zalandana nkhwangwa. Komanso lawyer wanuyu siwuja wa ma scandal uja uyu?

  34. mwana mulopwana says:

    If at all Times twisted the information , then Viola is right to sue the organization, it is high time that Media organization inform their team to be confined within their ethics of profession .

    The damage is so much to Viola , I was even surprised if Viola can say something like that and now explains the whole issue

  35. Wezi Gondwe says:

    za chamba basi

  36. Souja says:

    I listened his interview with Brian Banda he confirmed that malawi is the only country in Africa without a presidential jet,and he stressed that if the economy normalised the country can consider buying a new jet,am sorry Mr.Viola you started the war with overzealous Malawi media,uyembekeze zambiri kuchokera kwa azako omweo.

  37. mwayi kapichi says:

    Too late for the game man,nkhani ndiyomwe munanenayo,mukungochedwa nazo just us the remainn time accordingly,”nthawi yo onjezera simukuyidziwa”,anytym the whistle cn b brown,kuti watha mpira.

  38. Ndata farm says:

    How about the “puppet remarks” you didn’t say those either????

  39. Lake Malawi says:

    kikikikikiki A Viola koma do you know K250m kapena becoz of ukape wako ma Lawyer angokunamiza iwe kalekale mweeeee ngati akupatsa chipwete. Apa nde wangowonetsa uchitsiru wako ndipo uyalukabe. Tiye nazo we are watching closely.

  40. Mpumulo wa Bata wayandikila says:

    Cries of a dying horse!!!!!. It’s on record right. There is an audio.

  41. Issa Kabudula says:

    Misrepresentation is a violation of human rights, therefore Mr Viola deserve to be compensated.Care must be taken when reporting, interviewing and writing news.

  42. WAMISALA says:

    ZA ZIII .


  43. Mandla says:

    Times Group should not be worried. All they have to do is play back the recording. The good thing with broadcasting is that there is no missing quoting. A person speaks in his / her own words. If Viola spoke the words, then he defamation falls. How can you claim K250million in defamation charges? The guy is crazy.

  44. Here in Dublin says:

    Zopusa basi!! Kusowa podyela ndalama, mpaka 250 million. There is going to be rumours in any country, as a person on your position, you should know how to handle such things. Even though i wouldn’t be surprised if they did buy one with the way they’re doing things

  45. Oscar says:

    Viola never said APM is planning to buy a pvt jet..He said in his own opinion the best way to go is to buy a jet to save costs once the economy improves…Times group twisted the facts to make sales.

  46. Malawian!!! says:

    He he he he he he he he he he he! This man has really suffered! Let us watch this fight! Press the charges for the damages you have indeed suffered brother!

  47. bamusi nyadani says:

    Mukodzedya simudati muwona ngati chauta angasekerere za umbanva zanuzo

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