INFORMATION Communication Technology minister Supa Mandiwanzira has filed a $7 million defamation lawsuit against former NetOne chief executive officer, Reward Kangai, claiming the latter defamed him in an article he caused to be published in a local newspaper last year.
BY STAFF REPORTER
The alleged offensive article was based on Kangai’s complaint letter, dated April 21, 2016, addressed to chief secretary to Cabinet, where the former NetOne boss accused Mandiwanzira of corruptly running the parastatal.
Through his lawyer, Raphael Tsivama, Mandiwanzira, claims the article published in the Daily News of May 31, 2016 titled Kangai appeals to Mugabe imputes that the minister had unjustly caused his expulsion after bypassing the
“The article was not only untrue in many aspects, but highly defamatory and was so published with the express motive of casting aspersions on the character of the plaintiff (Mandiwanzira), lowering him in the estimation of ordinary reasonable persons with the newspaper’s readership and exposed him to public ridicule and contempt, both in his professional capacity as a government minister and a renowned broadcaster and a politician,” Tsivama said.
He added that Kangai further inferred Mandiwanzira hired a bogus South African company, Megawatt, to audit NetOne’s data project at a time another forensic audit was being done Price Waterhouse-Coopers, thus, prejudicing the government.
In the article, Kangai allegedly accused Mandiwanzira of engaging in “dodgy activities” and given to nepotism, “as he would undermine or violate professional procedures to corruptly appoint relatives to manage parastatals.”
“As a result of the defamatory statements referred to herein, the plaintiff, has been damaged in his reputation and suffered damages in the amount of $7 million,” the minister’s lawyer added.
Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe, publishers of the Daily News and its editor Stanley Gama were also cited as respondents.