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by VENERANDA LANGA
Zanu PF Chegutu West MP, Dexter Nduna yesterday issued summons to his Norton counterpart, Temba Mliswa (independent) demanding $10 million for alleged defamation during Monday’s meeting of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines where the two exchanged harsh words.
The two MPs yesterday sat next to each other in the National Assembly and chatted as if they had buried the hatchet after Mliswa called Nduna a thief, while the Chegutu legislator threatened unspecified action against his Norton counterpart.
The summons also come at a time when there is a public petition by an unknown group called #Ndunamustfall, which wants the Chegutu West MP to be removed from public office and investigated by police for the killing confession he made in a video clip which has gone viral on social media platforms.
“Plaintiff’s claim against defendant for payment of $10 million plus interest thereon at the prescribed rate from the date of issuing of summons to the date of full payment, being defamation damages suffered by the plaintiff as a direct result of utterances of defamatory statements by the defendant during a meeting of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee of Mines requited during a Press briefing and in local newspapers and published electronically on the Internet locally and internationally, which defamatory statements injured the reputation, dignity and good standing of the plaintiff in the eyes of the public and the world at large,” the summons read.
“Plaintiff is a man of good standing and untainted character. He is a trusted leader of charisma as envisaged by his numerous positions of responsibility. The malicious and wrongful allegations on the plaintiff have an effect of implying that he did not attain or get appointed to those positions on the basis of merit, but through improper means.”
Mliswa labelled Nduna “a thief, double thief and triple thief” after the Chegutu West MP came to the defence of fellow Zanu PF legislator Royi Bhilah (Chiredzi North), who started the fracas in Parliament, demanding that the Norton MP must be chucked out of the committee on allegations of demanding a $400 000 bribe from businessman James Goddard.
The Norton MP alleged that Nduna was corrupt and involved in an $11 million Zinara scam and that the Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda should not have allowed the Chegutu legislator to take over chairmanship of the Transport Portfolio Committee.
During the melee, Nduna in a spat of anger told Mliswa that he would deal with him, adding that he killed several people.
But, yesterday the two entered the House separately, sat next to each other and chatted. Oddly, in the morning, the two spent the day hurling insults at each other on social media and WhatsApp groups, accusing each other of different acts of corruption.
Later, Mliswa also sat next to Gokwe Nembudziya MP Justice Mayor Wadyajena and the two chatted affably. The two have fierce fights over allegations of corruption, where Mliswa wanted Wadyajena to be recused as chairperson of the Lands and Agriculture Committee. The Norton MP claimed that Wadyajena was conflicted since he had a dispute with Sakunda boss Kuda Tagwirei, who is funding government’s command agriculture programme.