Veteran politician and former cabinet minister Henry Mussa Ntengo-wa-Minga is demanding K10 million from Mzuzu-based businessman and Facebook fanatic Upson Mkandawire as compensation for alleged defamation.
Mussa told Nyasa Times in Blantyre recently that Mkandawire, who uses pseudonym ‘Gogo Gowoka’ on Facebook and other social media platforms, published articles that he (Mussa) allegedly borrowed funds amounting to K40 million from Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDEF), now called the National Economic Empowerment Fund (NEEF), and that he has defaulted on payment.
In one of the said Facebook posts that Nyasa Times has seen, Gogo Gowoka claims that Mussa got a K40 million loan from NEEF and that “he has not paid back even K1,000”.
Mussa threatened to sue Mkandawire and in a letter dated 13th May, 2021 addressed to Upson Mkandawire and signed by Mussa’s lawyer Victor Charles Gondwe of John Tennyson & Associates in Mzuzu, Mussa has made three demands.
The letter says their client demands that Mkandawire immediately takes down the post against Mussa, offer an apology through the same Facebook medium and pays their client K10 million as compensation for defamation.
“Our client has informed us that through your Facebook handle Gogo Gowoka, you created a post which in essence alleged that our client has committed fraud.
“Further, the said post would ordinarily be understood to mean that our client used his office to defraud the people of Malawi. By reason of the said post, our client’s reputation has seriously been injured and his standing as a politician has been brought into ridicule and contempt.
“Unless the demands are met within seven (7) days, our instructions are to seek legal redress without any further notice to you whatsoever,” concludes the letter, which was served on Mkandawire on Monday, May 24, 2011.
Henry Mussa Ntengo-wa-Minga confirmed he had indeed instructed his lawyers to demand retraction, apology and compensation for defamation from Mkandawire “because I want to safeguard my personal integrity as a grandfather, father, husband, businessman, Christian as well as politician”.
Mkandawire refused to comment on the matter as he claimed he is also consulting his lawyers for the way forward.