Ghana’s former President Jerry John Rawlings has described a publication in the May edition of Africawatch Magazine that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease as a complete falsehood.
The story published in the May edition of the controversial Africawatch magazine is titled “Now This Man needs your prayers, Parkinson’s disease eats Rawlings’ strength away.”
The story claimed to have accounts from the former President’s doctors in Ghana and South Africa, but only gives details about the heydays of the former President and an elaborate detail on what the Parkinson’s disease is.
But lawyers for the founder of the governing National Democratic Congress has asked publishers of the magazine, Liberty Media Concepts, to immediately retract the story and apologise with the same prominence given to the story or face legal action.
Ms Hanifa Yahaya, a lawyer for the former President, told the Daily Graphic Tuesday that the publication was a fabrication and defamatory.
“They are not speculating but were very categorical that they have spoken to his doctors in Ghana and in South Africa. “What motive will they have for such publication, if not defamation?” she said.
A copy of a rejoinder by the legal team of the former military ruler demanded that the distribution of the magazine is halted and retract the story immediately.
“We also demand that you immediately halt the distribution of the said edition of the offensive publication and cause the retraction and apology to be published immediately in at least one major newspaper in all the countries listed on the cover as circulation zones, as well as in the next monthly edition of the magazine.”
“Take notice and notice is hereby given that if you fail to immediately retract the story and apologise for same, legal action shall be taken against you without any further notice to you.”
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. It develops gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. But while a tremor may be the most well-known sign of Parkinson’s disease, the disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement.