By Staff Reporter
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) MP for Gweru, Brian Dube, has agreed to pay US$9000 in a settlement to fellow lawyer and Zanu PF member Tinomudaishe Chinyoka almost a year after accusing him of assaulting him at the Gweru Magistrates Court.
Last year Chinyoka filed a claim demanding US$308 083 as defamation damages and US$2 460 010 for “injurious falsehood”. Although Dube responded with his own counter-claim, Chinyoka won the case and was armed with an order for USD$32,000 in damages.
Both lawyers have now agreed to settle the matter amicably. A deed of settlement signed 16 January 2020 and seen by Nehanda Radio shows that Chinyoka will receive USD$9000 in damages.
Dube has also written a letter to the Law Society of Zimbabwe withdrawing his complaint against Chinyoka in which he claimed to have been assaulted.
Speaking to Nehanda Radio, Chinyoka said; “I am just relieved this chapter is closed. It was important for me to vindicate my reputation and set the record straight, and once Mr Dube offered his apology for mishandling our conversation, there was no need to keep on fighting in the courts.”
In the original letter published by Nehanda Radio, Dube had claimed;
“Today on the 18th February 2019 and at Gweru Magistrates Court and in Court number 3, whilst at the bar awaiting to represent a client in a trial, I was attacked by a person who I eventually got to know as Tinomudaishe Chinyoka, in the following manner:
1) He charged towards me from the back and assaulted me by pressing me hard on my right collar bone with force and I felt pain.
2) He proceed to threaten that he will deal with me with unspecified action for allegedly pissing him off.
3) When the court adjourned, the same Tinomudaishe Chinyoka approached me and continued with same threats bragging that he was powerful and connected and was going to deal with me.
4) The threats were reported to the Magistrate as well as a formal report at Gweru Central Police Station.
5) Through my investigations I have gathered that he is a Legal Practitioner and currently deployed to monitor on behalf of the Party to which he belongs the lawyers who are dealing with cases of the alleged National Shutdown.
6) The same person is cited in my client’s defence as the one coordinating and coaching witnesses in Midlands against opposition members. I feel violated, and professionally interfered with. I am now working under fear and this seriously affects my independence in doing my professional work.
Chinyoka was adamant at the time saying; “nothing happened as he sat in front of me (in court). I noticed that he had put an improper statement in a court document and I asked why he did that without consulting me. He said who are you and I said well you will know me, meaning he will know me in 2023 because I’m planning to run against him. I then left.”
Chinyoka’ says he was later approached by the police who arrested him for allegedly shoving and threatening another legal practitioner in court.
“I did not touch the boy. I did not threaten the boy. I don’t need to threaten the boy. He lied that he does not know me yet we go to the same church when I am in Gweru,” Chinyoka said.