HIGHER and Tertiary Education deputy minister Godfrey Gandawa has filed a $500 000 defamation lawsuit against Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc)’s investigations boss, Goodson Nguni.
BY CHARLES LAITON
In summons filed at the High Court last Friday, Gandawa claimed Nguni defamed him at a Press conference in October last year by insinuating that the minister had paid back his $70 000 loan to Barclays Bank using money stolen from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef).
“The plaintiff (Gandawa)’s claim is for general damages in the sum of $500 000 for defamation of character, arising from the utterances made by the defendant (Nguni) at a Press conference he held in Harare on October 13, 2016,” Gandawa said.
According to court papers, Nguni allegedly claimed Gandawa also paid rentals for a number of girlfriends and bought furniture with stolen funds.
Gandawa added that Nguni also accused him of lying and having used Zimdef funds for the benefit of Zanu PF, when in actual fact the party never received the funds.
“The defendant’s utterances were broadcast and widely publicised in both electronic and print media. The aforesaid utterances were not only false, but defamatory and meant to scandalise the plaintiff and tarnish his image. The defendant’s utterances were meant to portray the plaintiff as a thief, who is promiscuous and not fit to be a government minister and a Member of Parliament,” Gandawa said. “As a result of the defendant’s utterances, plaintiff suffered in his reputation and has been lowered in the estimation of his friends and the general public.
Through his lawyers, Kantor and Immerman, Gandawa said he is a minister, a respected academic and a scientist and a married man, adding he initially issued a letter of demand to Nguni, asking him to retract his statements and offer an unqualified apology on October 20, 2017, but he has failed to do so, prompting him to sue for damages.
Nguni is yet to enter his appearance to defend notice.