South Africa-based leader of the Enlightened Christian Gathering Church (ECGC) Prophet Shepherd Bushiri has filed a lawsuit against Malawi24 an online news site for defamation over a “malaicious and reckless” article it published against the Man of God.
Bushiri is also suing the publication’s owner Dr Pearson Nkhoma for the same article which was posted online on April 2 2019.
Through private practice lawyers Lusungu Gondwe, the ECG Church leader is demanding K500 million for libel, a full retraction of the article and an exemplary claim for punitive damages of K600 million.
The High Court has since directed the defendant to, within 28 days after service f the summons, either satisfy the claim or file with the court a defence and list of documents.
ECG Church’s communications director and Bushiri’s spokesperson Ephraim Nyondo said it is not the wish of the prophet to fight news organisations but he is exercising his rights as a citizen to “protect himself, his ministry, his business and his family” from reckless attacks through false publications and social media abuse.
“Prophet Bushiri has suffered attacks, ridicule and gross misrepresentation online,” said Nyondo, a trained journalist himself.
In his submission to court, Prophet Bushiri states the online publication has damaged his reputation a sa preacher, motivational speaker, author and businessperson, and exposed him to public ridicule.
The online publication said it is “reviewing a copy of the lawsuit” and Nkhoma has not indicated if he is going to mount a vigorous defense in the matter.
Bushiri, popularly known as Major One, trades under Shepherd Bushiri Investments (SBI) with a portfolio ranging from financial services, hospitality, aviation, mining and telecommunications and technology.
He boasts that his investments are in Zambia, South Africa and South Sudan with planned expansion to the Middle East.
Bushiri acquired a hotel in Rustenburg, South Africa and has since acquired three 5-star hotels in the United States of America and a 5-star hotel in Dubai.
SBI also owns a television channel, Rainbow TV, in Malawi apart from Prophetic Channel which broadcasts across Africa.
Bushiri claims to have created a $50 million (about K36.7 billion) real estate portfolio held in the company’s subsidiaries.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :