MUTARE town clerk Joshua Maligwa has been slapped with a $120 000 lawsuit after he allegedly defamed Shitazburg Enterprises director Anderson Mwashita by describing him as a fugitive from justice whose company reportedly swindled the local authority of $330 000.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
Shitazburg Enterprises reportedly failed to supply water pipes in a botched transaction after the local authority had made the necessary payment.
The lawsuit comes after Maligwa had engaged police and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission to help recover the $330 000 from Mwashita.
Mwashita filed the lawsuit at the Mutare High Court through his lawyers Mwere Chikamhi Mareyanadzo.
The town clerk was quoted saying that Mwashita’s whereabouts were unknown, but the police would soon catch up with him.
In his lawsuit, Mwashita said he was not on the run and has already approached police over the matter.
“The plaintiff approached the police and realised that the information was false as there was no other report, which was pending and was not being required by the police. The defendant’s statements are defamatory as they can be interpreted to mean that the plaintiff is not a law-abiding citizen and is always running away from the police,” part of the suit read.
Mwashita said his image had been tarnished and that negatively impacted on his business.
“The plaintiff, Mwashita, is a businessman and his image has been tarnished as all his business colleagues now believe he is a parson who cannot be trusted as he is a fugitive to justice. Since the publication (of the utterances), the plaintiff has lost a number of contracts and clients as people now believe he is a fugitive to justice. Wherefore the plaintiff’s claim is for: (a) payment of $120 000 being damages of defamation of character (b) 10% collection commission (c) interest at the prescribed rate from the date of summons to day of full and final payment. (d) cost of suit,” the suit read.
Shitazburg Enterprises reportedly won a tender to supply water pipes to the local municipality in 2010.
Council paid the company $330 000 as deposit to supply the pipes to council.
The local authority alleges that the company failed to honour its promises despite being paid.