Varsity vice-chancellor sues ex-lecturer for defamation

Bindura University of Science Education vice-chancellor, Edias Mwenje, is seeking $300 000 from a former lecturer as compensation for allegedly damaging his character and reputation.


Through his lawyers, Kossam Ncube and Partners, Mwenje filed summons at the High Court on October 5, 2018 against Professor Macleans Mzumara, who is yet to respond to the litigation.

According to the court papers, Mzumara was a lecturer at Bindura before he was dismissed in May following allegations of misconduct against him.

But in his declaration, Mwenje said Mzumara has been circulating e-mails “scandalising him by making false, spurious, unfounded and malicious”, accusations against him aimed at maligning his reputation and at the same time injuring his public esteem.

Mwenje said problems between himself and Mzumara started on December 11, 2017 when the latter authored and circulated an e-mail to several recipients in which he accused him of unprofessionalism, corruption, immaturity and being unfit to hold office of vice-chancellor.

Mwenje further said in the same e-mail, Mzumara maliciously and wrongly accused him of possessing an inferior complex, suppressing his subordinates and general inability to run the university.

“Further to that, on July 15, 2018, the defendant (Mzumara) again authored and circulated an e-mail to several recipients falsely accusing the plaintiff of abuse of university funds, being the recipient of dubious awards, nepotism, corruption, theft and general criminal activity in addition to influencing the disciplinary committee through appointments of members of the panel. The e-mail was also copied to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education,” Mwenje said.

“Further to that, on July 20, 2018, the defendant addressed an e-mail to the deputy chairperson of the Bindura University of Science Education council and other recipients, including the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, in which he again falsely accused plaintiff (Mwenje) of corruption, nepotism and general misconduct.”

Mwenje also said on August 1, 2018, Mzumara again authored and circulated another e-mail to several recipients in which he accused him of incompetence, inefficiency, adding he also accused him of being a thief and a robber who has been racketeering and stealing from his employer.

“He went on to accuse the plaintiff of being the most corrupt vice-chancellor in the country who has caused enrolments at the institution to decrease because of his corruption … consequently plaintiff suffered damages as follows; $200 000 for defamation of character and $100 000 for contumelia,” he said.

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