HARARE businessman Dr Munyaradzi Kereke has accused Daily News journalists of reporting negatively about him despite receiving assistance in the form of cash and free medical services from his Rock Foundation Medical Centre.
Speaking to journalists during a tour of his new hospital in Ruwa on Wednesday, Dr Kereke claimed that at one point he assisted a senior staffer at the paper with money amounting to US$10 000.
He said the senior journalist approached him indicating that he wanted to start a haulage truck business. On another occasion, Dr Kereke said the journalist approached him around 3am seeking medical assistance for his wife who was not feeling well.
"Problem yemaboss enyu, akauya achida help, auya mangwana womupa, ouya mangwana womupa, ukasamupa you must suffer, hamunyari (Problem is if they come asking for money, you must give them, if you don't then you must suffer)," Dr Kereke told the Daily News photographer Annie Mphalume.
"Go and tell your boss that I could even reveal worse if I was of that mindset including his second wife he brought at number 75 Wallace Road, Mandara, who is not known to his wife. My sister, go and tell him, muti zvanzi naKereke dzora mari yangu yawakatora uchiti unoda kutanga business remagonyeti. Wakundidaro nekuti ndaramba kuclear mota yako paborder," he said.
Dr Kereke alleged that another journalist from the same stable approached him saying a certain official from "a tall building" in Harare agreed with two senior editors to publish any incriminating article about him to scuttle his political interests in return for cash.
Dr Kereke said an article published in the Daily News claiming that he was buying votes in Bikita, a constituency he intended to contest in the forthcoming elections, irked him as it was a part of a ploy by the tabloid to tarnish his image. He also dismissed an article published in Wednesday's edition of the Daily News regarding his debt with BancABC amounting to more than US$184 98. Dr Kereke said he cleared the debt with the bank sometime back. He said he is going to sue one of the editors in his personal capacity and the Daily News as an organisation.
"We will take action, I now believe there is a criminal element to these stories from the Daily News. Please do not cry, I will follow procedure," he said. Dr Kereke further claimed that the "smear campaigns" by Daily News would not stop him from contesting for a senate seat in Bikita.
"KuBikita it's a foregone thing. I am in Zanu-PF structures. I am the senator standing for that constituency and I will win. It is not a thing which can be reversed in the Daily News unfortunately," he said.
Efforts to get a comment from the paper's editor, Stanley Gama, were fruitless as he said he was in a meeting and promised to phone back. He never did.