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Mahere slaps Kudzayi with US$100k lawsuit over adultery allegations

Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere has slapped former Zimpapers staffer Edmund Kudzayi with a US$100 000 lawsuit over a story in which he alleged that she is having an affair with top businessman Tinashe Murapata leading to the collapse of the latter’s marriage.

Her lawyers, Honey and Blanckenberg, Mahere claim the story which was published by an online publication, Kukurigo, reportedly run by Kudzayi, was defamatory.

The story also carried pictures of the two at a funeral of the late law expert Alex Magaisa and others at different places. It reported that Mahere’s WhatsApp messages allegedly asking for money are what exposed the claimed affair before Murapata’s wife dumped the marriage last year February.

Tinashe Murapata, is an economist and microfinancier who is a frequent commentator on economic policy
Tinashe Murapata, is an economist and microfinancier who is a frequent commentator on economic policy

But Mahere denies everything. She is now suing the Kudzayi.

“It must be noted that Defendant has sought to claim that he had a right to publish unfounded and unsubstantiated allegations about Plaintiff’s personal life due to the fact that she is ‘a lawyer bound by professional ethics and as a politician claiming to stand for integrity’.

“It is incorrect to allege that a person’s right to privacy may be infringed simply on the basis that they are a member of the legal profession or in her role as a spokesperson (and not as a person elected to public office), particularly where such infringement has no bearing on the individual’s professional duties.

“It is therefore clear that the various publications are neither true, nor in the public interest,” read the court papers.

“The said statements are wrongful and defamatory of Plaintiff in that they were intended and understood by the ordinary reasonable person to mean that Plaintiff is unethical and unprofessional, and that she has committed various sexual improprieties which resulted in the termination of a marriage.

“Furthermore, the claims by Defendant that Plaintiff’s right to approach the court amounts to “frivolous and abusive litigation” is an attempt to paint her as unnecessarily litigious when Plaintiff has every right to approach the courts to protect her name and character.

“Plaintiff does not regularly institute legal action against individuals, and her one pending matter has no bearing on the present case.

“Plaintiff relies on her reputation for her profession as an advocate and is known in her capacity as spokesperson for the Citizens Coalition for Change on a national, regional and international level.

“Plaintiff is also an established speaker, having been invited to speak at institutions such as Harvard and the University of Cape Town. She received the Hubert H. Humphrey Distinguished Leader Award and was invited by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office to participate in the International Leaders Programme. Plaintiff was also named as a 2021 Amujae Leader with the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Centre for Women and Development.

“The Kukurigo website claims that 370 000 people read its news articles every day and claims 46 000 direct subscribers across 185 whatsapp groups. Defendant’s twitter page has 126 600 followers.

“Since the articles were published, the untrue allegations have been reposted on social media, and have been picked up by media sites, including Gambakwe Media, Zim News Online, Zimetro, iHarare.com, MyZimbabwe, Nehanda Radio, Pindula news, and Zimeye. The reach of the defamatory allegations is therefore extensive,” further stated the papers.

Commenting on Twitter on Monday afternoon, Kudzayi said he was confident he would win the case.

“Today I received summons from an adulteress, CCC spokesperson, Fadzayi Mahere, claiming US$100k in alleged defamation damages. She won’t get a cent.

“The available evidence is impeccable, unimpeachable and thus compelling.

“N.B: Mahere, it’s outrageous that you continue to abuse a private address which is not mine despite having been warned against it.

“See you in court, Spox,” he said.