Suspended Redcliff town clerk and Harare lawyer Trust Sengwayo says he has been ditched by several women because of defamatory statements made against him by Deputy Minister of Local Government Sesel Zvidzai.
Sengwayo, who was recently awarded $18 000 backpay by the High Court after council stopped paying his salary following his suspension, is suing Zvidzai for $120 000 for defamation.
“The Plaintiff has been ditched by several women once the story surfaced that he was dismissed from Redcliff when in fact he was never dismissed from the Municipality,” his lawyers said in the lawsuit.
They said their client had lost dignity in society as a result of the minister’s utterances and he had lost even his close friends.
Sengwayo is also suing The Herald newspaper for publishing the story and quoting Zvidzai attacking Sengwayo for “running council like a little kingdom”.
Zvidzai is cited as the first respondent in the matter while Herald reporter Takunda Maodza is listed as second respondent.
Herald editor-in-chief Pikirayi Deketeke is the third respondent while Zimbabwe Newspapers, the publishers of The Herald, are the fourth respondents in the matter.
Zvidzai was quoted in The Herald saying Sengwayo was running down the local authority
through disregard of council resolutions.
In court papers filed on Tuesday at the High Court, Sengwayo claimed his reputation was “gravely harmed” by the publication of Zvidzai’s claims that he had been dismissed from the local authority.
“The 1st Defendant uttered the defamatory statements outlined in paragraph 6 to the 2nd Defendant who he knew was a reporter from a mass circulating newspaper in Zimbabwe.
“He knew the utterances would be circulated in the whole country and on the Internet the world over,” reads part of the suit.
Sengwayo is suing Deketeke for allowing the publication of the said story.
“The Plaintiff is now being ridiculed in the legal profession. He has lost corporate and natural clients because of the said defamatory utterances of the 1st Defendant and publishing of same by 4th Defendant.
He has stopped making applications for top managerial positions because his name has been tarnished.”
Sengwayo demands that the story be retracted. He is being represented by law firm Maganga and Company.
Sengwayo was suspended from the local authority pending investigations on allegations of abuse of office.