Tagwirei Linked Company Demands Apology From Biti
29 October 2021
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Local civil engineering company Fossil Contracting (Pvt) Limited has threatened to sue MDC-Alliance vice president Tendai Biti for defamation over a tweet in which he allegedly associates it with another local company, Sakunda.

Fossil Contracting (Pvt) Limited has since written a letter of demand to Biti asking him to pull down the tweet in which through his Twitter handle @BitiTendai, he allegedly falsely associated the firm with Sakunda Holdings, which is believed to be under sanctions from the West and so the tweet could see Fossil come under sanctions itself.

In a letter prepared by lawyer Mr Admire Rubaya and sent to Biti on Wednesday, Fossil Contractors demanded that Biti pull down the tweet and apologise through his Twitter handle.

Mr Rubaya, in the letter, said Fossil Contracting (Pvt) Limited had no connections with Sakunda and threatened to sue Biti for defamation in the event that he fails to pull down the tweet and apologise within 48 hours.

Biti allegedly tweeted on September 5, 2021 saying: “Fossil Contracting is #Sakunda. Why are these contracts not subjected to tender? How does a country get owned by a few predatory cartels into everything, mining, fuel, banks, buses, hospitals etc. How does a regime function on banditry, fraud & state capture. #Zimbabwean LivesMatter. Fossil is owned by Sakunda.  Obey is Kuda’s blue eyed boy and sits on many Sakunda Boards.” Fossil Contractors claims that Biti’s tweet was malicious and defamatory to its good reputation.

“The tweet falsely associates our client with an entity which is under sanctions in what appears to be a malicious attempt to attract international sanctions upon our client,” said the firm. “A simple verification with the Companies Registry can and will establish that our client has no ownership relationship with Sakunda.

Our client is neither owned nor controlled by Sakunda, its shareholders, directors and/or proprietors in whatever manner.

“In light of the above, our instructions are to demand, as we hereby do, the publication of a full, unconditional and unreserved withdrawal of the tweet and the related-imputations together with an expression of regret on the tweet relating to our client within 48 hours of receiving this letter.

 “This should be tweeted for five consecutive days on your Twitter handle @Biti Tendai. Further, our client instructs us to demand that your Twitter handle pulls down the above-quoted defamatory tweet.

“In the event that you fail to retract the defamatory tweet as demanded, our client shall proceed to issue summons and claim damages for defamation without any further notice to you. We hope there shall be no need to proceed in such a manner and look forward to the unconditional retraction of the defamatory tweet.”

Mr Rubaya, in the letter, said Fossil Contractors was a leading civil engineering contracting company with very strong international ties, links and partnerships. The company has a traceable record of success in construction and civil engineering projects and recently attained ISO certification.

“Our client is also a member of local and international organisations and professional bodies which require very high ethical standards from its members,” said Mr Rubaya.

“The widely published tweet which has global reach has demeaned our client’s status and it has seriously damaged our client’s major asset, which is its goodwill and trading brand.

“Our client’s reputation has been severely damaged. Our client advises us that it is now at the verge of losing many lucrative contracts as the report has cast it in bad light. “Our client is likely to incur quantifiable financial losses.”

-State Media