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Fadzayi Mahere vs Petina Gappah $1m defamation case takes new twist

By Desmond Chingarande | NewsDay |

The case in which top lawyer and civil rights activist, Fadzayi Mahere has filed a $1 million defamation lawsuit against another legal practitioner Petina Gappah, has taken a new twist.

Fadzayi Mahere and Petina Gappah
Fadzayi Mahere and Petina Gappah

Gappah has filed an urgent chamber application with the High Court demanding the release of certain documents which she says supports her defence.

She maintained that she assisted Mahere to redraft her Cambridge essay and facilitated her getting a place at Cambridge University and that the MDC Alliance spokesperson attempted to start a sexual relationship with her partner.

In the application, Gappah said it was important for Mahere to produce the documents she demanded to enable her defence expedite the swift and judicious disposition of the matter between them.

She wants their communication of September 2009 on Facebook Messenger in which Mahere allegedly sought help with her application to Cambridge University. She said Mahere used the same platform to ask intrusive questions about the status of her relationship with her son’s father.

Gappah demanded the release of Mahere’s official documents pertaining to her employment in The Hague in 2009, their communication in August 2016 in which she turned down an offer to meet for lunch and reprimanded her for a conduct which she believed was inappropriate.

She also demanded Mahere’s CV which she circulated as part of her 2018 election campaign in which she claimed to have worked for an international trade consultancy in Geneva.

Gappah said documents related to Mahere’s employment status in 2009 were important, accusing Mahere of acting dishonestly.

Through her lawyers, Coghlan, Welsh and Guest, Mahere filed summons at the High Court in 2018 claiming $1 million defamation damages from Gappah.

In her declaration, Mahere said Gappah had published a series of tweets on Twitter account @VascoDaGappah, accusing her of corruptly enrolling at the University of Zimbabwe and Cambridge University and attempting to seduce Gappah’s boyfriend at some point.