Lloyd Gumbo Herald Reporter
Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Cde Justice Mayor Wadyajena has slapped The Daily News with a $250 000 lawsuit over a defamatory article it published on April 30, 2015.Through his lawyers, Machingura Legal Practitioners, Cde Wadyajena said the article titled “MP ‘targets’ ex-partner in Parly summons” were defamatory by implying that he abused his parliamentary position to settle personal scores with Sakunda owner Kuda Tagwirei.
The Gokwe-Nembudziya MP added that the article implied that he abused his position as chairperson of the parliamentary committee to victimise those perceived to be against his personal business interests and that he was vindictive and unethical.
“Among other things, our client contends that the article and words published by you in respect of our client are bereft of truth, vexatious, specious, fallacious and wholly uncalled for, are and were grossly negligent, reckless, deliberate, malicious and aimed to lower our client’s esteem in the eyes of the public, and expose our client to public hatred, scorn, odium, opprobrium, contempt and ridicule and are wholly untrue, motivated by malice, mala fides, distortion of facts suggesting moral and legal impropriety on the part of our client.
“We have therefore been instructed to demand from you, which we hereby do, an immediate and unequivocal public retraction of the defamatory article and words, an apology in the terms to be approved by us as legal practitioners, to be published in the Daily News and defamation damages in the amount of $250 000,” said Machingura Legal Practitioners.
Failure by the paper to respond within seven days from May 5, 2015, would see the MP’s legal representatives instituting legal proceedings against it.
The paper alleged that Cde Wadyajena targeted Sakunda only and did not invite Zuva Petroleum “whose purchase of assets by a company owned by banker John Mushayavanhu was the subject of intense bickering, has not been invited to appear before the same committee”.
However, correspondence from Parliament seen by The Herald indicates that both Sakunda and Zuva Petroleum were requested to submit similar documents in letters written on March 30, 2015.
The letters were signed by acting Clerk of Parliament Mr Kennedy Chokuda.