By Everson Mushava | NewsDay |
The Zanu PF youth league’s “name and shame” exercise of alleged corrupt people has backfired after Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya and Zimbabwe Miners Federation president Henrietta Rushwaya demanded retractions.
On top of retraction, the central bank boss gave the youth leaders Pupurai Togarepi and his deputy Lewis Matutu five days to pay ZWL$1 million as damages for defamation.
The claim comes after Matutu at a Press conference on Monday named Mangudya and top Zanu PF officials, who included Obert Mpofu and Joram Gumbo, among people he claimed were corrupt and involved in illegal foreign currency deals.
Mangudya, through his lawyers Kantor Immerman, wrote to the ruling party youth leaders yesterday demanding an apology and damages to the tune of ZW$1 million within five days.
Togarepi, who did not attend the Press conference, was served in his capacity as the youth league secretary.
“We have instructions to demand the immediate retraction of the statements via a public Press conference and public notice, coupled with the publication of a written apology to our client signed by each of the two of you personally and on behalf of the Zanu PF youth league, for injury caused to his reputation by your statements,” part of the letter read.
“We also have instructions to claim defamation damages from you jointly and severally. We estimate our client’s defamation at RTGS ZWD$1 000 000,00.
“If by the expiry of five days from date of this letter you have not retracted the statements, apologised to our clients, and paid us the amount, RTGS ZWD$1 000 000 (one million dollars) as and for our client’s defamation damages, we shall institute proceedings against you both without further notice.”
Mangudya said the allegations against him were fallacious and damaged his reputation as a high-ranking government official.
“The allegations are wholly untrue and unsubstantiated and have tarnished our client’s name and reputation locally and internationally as he is a well-respected regulator, former banker and public official,” the lawyers wrote.
“The defamation is aggravated by the fact that no attempt was made to contact our client prior to publication, nor was our client afforded an opportunity to tell his side of the story or comment.”
Represented by Antonio and Dzvetero Legal Practitioners, Rushwaya demanded an “unquantified and complete retraction of the defamatory statements, an apology in writing for the defamatory and false statements and innuendos, as well as an undertaking they will desist from publishing defamatory statements concerning their client.”