By Tatenda Dewa | Harare Bureau |
Jonathan Moyo, the Higher and Tertiary Education minister facing a raft of fraud allegations, has slapped two Zimpapers newspapers for a whopping $4 million over a story in which he is alleged to have abused government vehicles.
Moyo’s lawsuit is targeting the Sunday Mail and Sunday News which he reportedly used to attack his political enemies when he was still Information minister.
Moyo was transferred from the ministry in 2015 following complaints from fellow ministers and other ruling Zanu PF officials, that he was manipulating the government-controlled media to vilify them amid party factional fights.
The two publications ran a story headlined “Prof Moyo in vehicle scandal” in which it was claimed that the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) sought to investigate him over the alleged abuse of two cars.
Moyo is citing as respondents, the Sunday Mail editor, Mabasa Sasa, the same paper’s investigative editor, Brian Chitemba, and Limukani Ncube, the Sunday News editor.
“The claims, allegations and assertions made by the defendants, as set out above, are false, malicious, scandalous, wrongful and defamatory of plaintiff in the extreme in that on their plain and ordinary meaning, they simply allege theft by the plaintiff and were intended by the defendants and understood by the readers of the Sunday Mail and The Sunday News to mean that plaintiff is a thief, who stole two motor vehicles and that plaintiff is dishonest,” Moyo said in an affidavit.
“In addition to the plain and defamatory per se contents of the articles, as set out above, the defamatory allegations carry out with them the secondary meaning, innuendo and sting that the plaintiff is not a law-abiding citizen and, therefore, unfit to hold public office.
“The plaintiff’s reputation and standing, being a current and serving minister of government, has been significantly lowered in the eyes of the public,” added Moyo.
He further claimed that the Information ministry secretary, George Charamba, had on Monday admitted that the story was based on falsehoods.
“As a result of the defamatory articles, plaintiff, who is a Cabinet minister and a revered academic, has been damaged in his reputation and has suffered damages in the amount of four million dollars,” he said. Nehanda Radio