Many had feared the publication of un-redacted Wikileaks cables would have far reaching consequences; they certainly have for the Harare based paper The Daily News.
The former Zimbabwe information minister Jonothan Moyo has demanded $100,000 in damages after the paper ran an article based on information contained in the most recently released batch of Wikileaks diplomatic cables. The cables revealed that Moyo had voiced supported sanctions against President Mugabe, and even suggesting that specific party member should be targeted with sanctions.
Moyo is claiming damages on the grounds that the comments make him appear hypocritical, having been a staunch public defender of Mugabe. However, as Reporters Without Borders points out, "The Daily News just reported, and commented on, reliable information that is now accessible to everyone through WikiLeaks".
Moyo has filed a writ against Stanley Gama, the editor of The Daily News, and reporter Thelma Chikwanha. This is not the first time that that the former minister has sued the paper; he previously demanded $60,000 when the paper published an article discussing his expulsion from the Zanu PF politburo party, which he later rejoined.
Reporters Without Borders has accused Moyo of attempting to financially "throttle" the paper, which is known for its serious approach to journalism, a stance that caused the paper to suffer a seven-year publication ban. This defamation suit is hardly going to encourage serious journalism in a nation that was last year ranked 136th out of 175 countries in the RSF free press index.