By Fungai Lupande
ZANU-PF secretary for administration Dr Obert Mpofu is suing the party’s Youth Affairs deputy secretary Lewis Matutu for $10 million after the latter accused him of being corrupt.
The claim emanates from a press conference addressed by Matutu on June 24 this year at Zanu-PF headquarters.
Dr Mpofu claims that his reputation and standing as a businessman, politician has been damaged in the eyes of the public because of the statement.
He said the corruption allegations are false, malicious, scandalous, wrongful and defamatory to him.
“The content of the statement was widely disseminated in the local print and electronic media and on various social media platforms,” read the summons.
The statement, in its defamatory, false and misleading allegations states the plaintiff has violated the foundation of democracy in Zimbabwe.
“That the plaintiff’s corrupt inclinations continue to undermine socio economic transformation in Zimbabwe and, as a result defendant’s generation is suffering.”
Dr Mpofu added that the statement implies that corrupt individuals like him are undoing the gains of the liberation struggle.
In June this year the Zanu-PF Youth League audaciously named individuals, private sector executives and party bigwigs it claimed were corrupt.
Matutu at the time said those exposed in the “naming and shaming” should clear their names, threatening to bar named party officials from the ruling party’s headquarters in Harare.
“All the party members fingered in the corruption should do the honourable thing and not report for work tomorrow until they have cleared the allegations made against them.
“High ranking officials who work at the party headquarters should stop reporting for duty with immediate effect until they clear their names before the President and the courts.
“We are going to lock out all the Zanu-PF officials from entering their offices until they have cleared the allegations with immediate effect,” said Matutu.
Obert Mpofu, together with ministers Jorum Gumbo and Prisca Mupfumira, were Monday fingered by the Zanu PF youth league as some of the most corrupt individuals in the country.
The list announced included controversial businessman Wicknell Chivayo and central bank governor John Mangudya. Neville, son to Christopher Mutsvangwa, former Zimbabwean ambassador to China and top ally to the President, was also fingered in money laundering rings.
Mutsvangwa was appointed to the Ariston Holdings board in April 2018 when his father was still a Presidential Advisor. Unifreight Group Finance Executive Lisbon Mhonda is also being accused of using his company’s resources to smuggle large sums of US dollars out of the country.
Matutu also sent a veiled threat to ZRP Officer Commanding Harare Province, Charles Nhete if he did not act on those within the private sector they had indicated to be corrupt.
“If the police have heard what we have said, especially the Propol (Officer Commanding Province), then they should start work, we have heard that they catch criminals but under-declare monies they would have seized or get bribed.
“We will give them a chance, hopefully they will act,” said Matutu before rubbishing a question on why fuel tycoon Kudakwashe Tagwirei who has been accused of monopolising the market is absent from the list. Nehanda Radio/The Herald