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Mliswa to folk out $600,000 for defamation

by Staff reporter
11 Jun 2020 at 07:54hrs | Views
NORTON MP Temba Mliswa (Independent), who was last year slapped with a $10 million defamation suit by BDO Chartered Accountants boss, Ngoni Kudenga, has been ordered by the High Court to pay $600 000 instead.

The order was issued on June 3, 2020 by Justice Happias Zhou after the legislator failed to attend the court hearing, prompting the judge to grant the order in default.

"The first defendant (Mliswa) shall pay the plaintiff (Kudenga) the sum of $600 000 damages for defamation, interest on the amount of damages awarded from the date of judgment to the date of full payment. The first defendant shall pay the costs of suit on a higher scale," Justice Zhou ruled.

According to court papers, the lawsuit against Mliswa emanated from a letter dated May 14, 2018 which he allegedly wrote to Auditor-General Mildred Chiri, with an attachment of a document titled: Report on the Abuse and Capture of the National Social Security Authority (NSSA).

Mliswa's letter was copied to VicePresidents Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi, Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, former Labour and Social Welfare minister Petronella Kagonye, the then Home Affairs minister Obert Mpofu, Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Philip Valerio Sibanda, former Prosecutor-General Ray Goba and Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga.

In the summons, which cited publishers Alpha Media Holdings, former Zimbabwe Independent editor Dumisani Mleya and former reporter Bernard Mpofu as co-respondents, Kudenga said when Mliswa authored the report, his conduct was "actuated by malice and there was no legal basis for him to copy the falsehoods to mentioned dignitaries nor was there any justification for such conduct given to Parliament".

Kudenga said the contents of the report appeared in the Zimbabwe Independent of May 24-31, 2018 under the headline, New twist to NSSA corruption storm, adding that the article was published with the express intention and motive of casting aspersions on his character and that of his organisation.

Kudenga further said the newspaper article exposed him to distrust and public ridicule and contempt, both in his professional and personal capabilities. However, the publisher and its journalists were absolved from the matter.

Source - newsday