20 October 1999
Church group to sue newspaper over articles
(MISA/IFEX) - The Tanzanian Christian Revival (TCR) organisation is to sue
the weekly religious newspaper "Msemakweli" for defamation, reports the
"Guardian" newspaper. The TCR is seeking 300 million Tanzania shillings
(US$37,500) in damages for several articles published by the newspaper.
"Msemakweli" is published by the Word and Pentecostal Organisations (WAPO)
in Dar es Salaam.
The editor, printer and distributor of the newspaper will all be called as
respondents to the charge of "damaging the reputation of the TCR, hence
creating hatred, ridicule and making it to be shunned by the public".
TCR Deputy Secretary General Francis Msangi claimed that for several weeks,
the weekly tabloid had been insisting that TCR was a christian organisation
that normally broke up marriages.
The tabloid allegedly wrote that TCR had broken the marriage of the minister
for lands and human settlements development, Gideon Cheyo. The article
allegedly said that TCR leaders had convinced Cheyo to leave her husband
after she had joined the organisation.
Msangi cited another article published by the newspaper concerning the
marriage breakup of one Anthony Mapunda and Elizabeth Ibrahim. According to
the article, Ibrahim had apparently complained that TCR leaders had ordered
her husband to leave her after she and her parents had quit the organisation
and the leaders had further accused them of being witches.