Zimbabwe: Musarara Sues Matutu, Tsenengamu $10 Million for Defamation

President Emmerson Mnangagwa swears in Prosecutor-General Kumbirai Hodzi (file photo).
12 February 2020

Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) chairperson, Tafadzwa Musarara has slapped suspended Zanu PF youth league bosses, Lewis Matutu and Godfrey Tsenengamu with a $10 million lawsuit for labelling him corrupt.

The two made the allegations at a press conference in Harare last week.

Musarara has since filed summons at the High Court while also demanding that Matutu and Tsenengamu settle costs of suit.

It is his submission that because of the utterances made the Zanu PF youths, his reputation had suffered irreparable damage and demanded $10 million in damages.

"The plaintiff's claim against the defendants jointly and severally the one paying and the other to be absolved is for payment of the sum of $10 million being defamation damages.

"The damages arise out of statements made by the defendants at a press conference held at Harare on the 3rd of February 2020.

"The defendants stated at the press conference that the plaintiff was a corrupt businessman who was diverting maize meal to the black market thus causing shortages of that product in the shops," said Musarara through his lawyers Wintertons Legal Practitioners.

Musarara said when Matutu and Tsenengamu addressed the press conference, there were many journalists and as such, the message was widely circulated.

"The statements made by the defendants were widely circulated in national newspapers and on many social media platforms both in written word and videography. The press conference and the statements were also covered in news bulletins on national radio and television."

Further reads the summons: "They stated that the plaintiff was working with a clique of white people to divert maize meal to the black market and consequently that he was responsible for the shortage of maize meal on the formal market."

Musarara denies the allegations arguing that the said statements by the defendants are "wrongful and defamatory".

He said the statements were intended and were understood by the journalists at the press conference and by all other persons who accessed the story via various other media, to mean that he was corrupt.

He added it was wrong to imply that he was the kind of a person who would enrich himself at the expense of the general populace.

The case is yet to be set down for hearing.

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