Zanu PF Secretary for Administration Obert Mpofu has filed ZWL$10 Million defamation charges against the party’s deputy youth secretary Lewis Matutu accusing the powerful ruling party youth leader of misleading the nation about the former mines minister’s public standing.
Early this year, Matutu addressed a press conference in which he named Mpofu among the corrupt party members and individuals during party Youth League’s ‘name and shame’ campaign.
In his court papers, Mpofu accused Matutu of making false and misleading remarks during the youth league press conference.
“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.”
“He said that despite the country’s ample human and natural resources, corrupt individuals like the plaintiff continue to perpetuate alarming socio-economic imbalances in Zimbabwe,” read the summons.
Mpofu added that Matutu’s claims were “false, malicious, scandalous, wrongful and defamatory in the extreme, in that on their plain and ordinary meaning, they allege corruption by the plaintiff and were intended by the defendant and understood by his audience and all the readers of the statement to mean that plaintiff is a corrupt politician.”
“In addition to the plain and defamatory per-se content of the statement as set out above, the defamatory allegations carry with them the secondary meaning, innuendo and sting that the plaintiff is not a law abiding citizen and therefore unfit to hold public and or political office,” Mpofu’s lawyers added.
Matutu has already been sued by business man Frank Buyanga and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr John Mangudya.
During the press conference, Matutu listed individuals and ruling party members including Prisca Mupfumira, Wicknell Chivhayo, Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa’s son, Monica, Tino Machakaire among others.
The list ruffled feathers resulting in heated exchanges in the Zanu PF politiburo which effectively silenced the youth league who had earlier made a promise to come back with more names.