8 August 2018

Zimbabwe: Mwonzora Denies Chamisa Rift, Sues Herald for 'Falsehoods'

Photo: Douglas Mwonzora/Twitter
Opposition MDC Alliance's Douglas Mwonzora tweets. ‏

MDC secretary general, Douglas Mwonzora has sued the state-run Herald newspaper for an undisclosed amount of money for allegedly writing falsehoods over alleged divisions in the opposition party.

The Herald reported Monday that there was infighting within the MDC led by Nelson Chamisa.

The paper suggested that some officials within the MDC Alliance were baying for Chamisa's blood accusing him of causing the heavy electoral defeat the party suffered in the hands of Zanu PF in the July 30 elections.

The story quoted Mwonzora as saying that he was against the idea of Chamisa roping in former President Robert Mugabe into his campaign matrix.

In the said story, Mwonzora was quoted as having said the former state leader was "a kiss of death" and that there was no wisdom in any attempts to seek alliances with him.

The story also quoted Mwonzora purportedly saying only a verification of the election results would tell whether the MDC Alliance won or lost the ballot, a statement which contradicts Chamisa's unequivocal claims he won the election.

But the top MDC-T official dismissed this as false claims that were meant to cause divisions in the party.

"Today I have formally sued The Herald over the false story it published yesterday (Monday)," Mwonzora said.

"I seek exemplary damages over the malicious story. While as a constitution maker, I respect freedom of expression, I think malicious reporting must be punished."

However, it could not be immediately established how much Mwonzora was suing for as his mobile was not reachable.

Mwonzora had earlier Monday tweeted; "The story in the Herald of today suggesting that there is infighting between @nelsonchamisa and myself post-election is false and malicious.

"It is typically designed to sow seeds of division within the MDC Alliance. I remain focused on the People's struggle,".

There has been widespread speculation of a rift between Chamisa and Mwonzora, with the party's secretary general said to be linked to former party vice president Thokozani Khupe's MDC-T breakaway group.

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