HARARE – Businessman Mutumwa Mawere has written a letter to President Robert Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao demanding a whopping $2 million for defamation.
Mawere, through his lawyers Chivore & Partners Legal Practitioners, wrote the letter on January 7, this year.
The lawyers said the defamatory statements appeared in an article which Zhuwao authored in the Sunday Mail newspaper of November 23, 2014 titled, “Bad leaders must be kicked out”.
They said in the article, Zhuwao had insinuated that Mawere was a thief and a Speculative Political Entrepreneur (SPE).
“Despite demand that you withdraw the false and defamatory statements relating to our client, or alternatively tender proof to our client that he is an SPE and a thief, you have failed, neglected and or refused to do so.
“Accordingly, we are instructed to demand, as we hereby do, that you publicly retract statements attributed to our client within five days of receipt of this letter failing which we are instructed to demand payment of the amount of $2 000 000 together with interest at the prescribed rate calculated from November 30, 2014 to date of full payment, at our offices within seven days of this letter being general damages for defamation, failing which legal process will be issued against you without further notice,” the lawyers said.
The lawyers said the article portrayed their client as immoral, unethical and one who acts in a criminal manner in his business dealings, which they said was not true. They said the article had an effect of damaging their client’s reputation as a businessman.
“In that article, you defined an SPE as a commercial and business oriented individual who seeks to abuse access to political influence for personal and individual commercial and business benefits irrespective of the political and or ideological damage that they inflict.
“You further said, an SPE is ideologically bankrupt and devoid of ethics, morality and decency,” the lawyers said.
The lawyers also wrote to Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa to bring to his attention some of the issues that were raised by Zhuwao in the article.
According to the letter, Zhuwao had claimed in his article that Mawere had risen from nowhere with Mnangagwa’s assistance. There were further claims that Mawere had acquired a mining house, SMM Holdings (Private) Limited through an improper government guarantee. The lawyers said Zhuwao further claimed that the businessman was offered a very senior position which he spurned within one of Zanu PF’s provincial executive committees through Mnangagwa’s assistance.
According to the letter, Zhuwao also claimed that around 2002, Mawere created a dubious agricultural company whose operations included reinstating evicted white farmers under the guise of consultants.