GRAIN Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) chairperson, Tafadzwa Musarara has petitioned the High Court seeking an order to compel suspended Zanu PF youth bosses, Lewis Matutu and Godfrey Tsenengamu to pay $10 million being defamation damages after calling him a corrupt businessman at a press conference held in Harare last week.
According to court papers, Musarara said Matutu and Tsenengamu jointly addressed a press conference recently in the capital and accused him of being corrupt.
He also said his reputation has suffered irreparable damage since there were many journalists at the press briefing as such the message was widely circulated.
“The plaintiff’s (Musarara) claim against the defendants (Matutu and Tsenengamu) jointly and severally is for payment of the sum of $10 million being defamation damages,” read part of the summons.
“The damages arise out of statements made by the defendants at a press conference held at Harare on the 3rd of February 2020.“The defendants stated at the press conference that the plaintiff was a corrupt businessman who was diverting maize meal to the black market thus causing shortages of that product in the shops,” said Musarara through his lawyers Wintertons Legal Practitioners.
“They stated that the plaintiff was working with a clique of white people to divert maize meal to the black market and consequently that he was responsible for the shortage of maize meal on the formal market.”
“The statements made by the defendants were widely circulated in national newspapers and on many social media platforms both in written word and videography. The press conference and the statements were also covered in news bulletins on national radio and television,” he said.
Musarara denied the allegations arguing that the said statements made by Matutu and Tsenengamu are wrongful and defamatory.
Musarara is also demanding that the two should settle costs of suit.
The case is yet to be set down for hearing.