Mai Titi contests $500k defamation damages

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Vasco Chaya

MUSICIAN Felistas Murata, pictured, popularly known as Mai Titi, has filed an application for rescission of a High Court judgment that ordered her to pay $500 000 defamation damages to businesswoman Memory Muyaka for calling her a prostitute and witch.

She is making a counter claim of $2 million against Muyaka which has been detailed in her defence that she had filed on September 8.

In the application filed before the High Court yesterday, Murata through her lawyer Tariro Machiridza claimed that Muyaka had fraudulently obtained the default judgment knowing fully that she had complied with all procedures required when contesting such a claim.

This had resulted in High Court judge Justice Edith Mushore granting the $500 000 claim with costs.

The judgment was delivered on September 23; two days after Murata had served Muyaka with her plea outlining how she was defending the claim.

“What is clear without a shadow of a doubt is that there was continual exchange of court processes between the parties without any incident. The only challenge arose when the respondent surreptitiously and fraudulently proceeded to obtain a judgment of plea against myself,” Murata said.

“The respondent through the motion court mounted an application in my default alleging that I had not filed my defendant’s plea after she put me on notice to September 1. The respondent was thus granted a default judgment against me when she fully knew that I had actually filed my plea with the registrar of the court.

“So cunning and deliberate was the respondent’s legal counsel that she conveniently omitted to state this fact to her ladyship (Justice) Mushore when she appeared before her.”

According to court records, between November 17 last year and April 3 Murata, who has over 270 000 followers on Facebook, posted several broadcasts on the platform and on Whatsapp about Muyaka, whom she also calls Mai Khloe or Mai Maketeni.

The court heard Murata labelled Muyaka a prostitute, witch, gossiper and accused her of blackmailing her clients.

The two were friends before they began accusing each other of jealousy, prompting Murata to take her rage against Muyaka to Facebook.

Murata is claimed to have said Muyaka belonged to a society called the illuminati that is believed to be involved in Satanism. She then accused Muyaka of attempting to kill her through illuminati.

“These statements were both wrongful and defamatory of plaintiff (Muyaka) who is a business person and a legally married woman highly regarded in her community,” reads the summons.

“The defendant (Murata) further published that the plaintiff had administered charms to her husband so that he would not complain or question when she committed adultery.

“This was false and intended to impute that the plaintiff is an evil person. This statement is wrongful and defamatory of the plaintiff who is a Christian.”

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