NATIONAL People’s Party (NPP) leader and former Vice-President Joice Mujuru has responded to the $5 million lawsuit filed by Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) co-leaders and her former colleagues Rugare Gumbo and Didymus Mutasa.
BY CHARLES LAITON
On March 17 this year, Mujuru, the former ZimPF leader, entered an appearance to defend her controversial statements in which she was reported to have claimed that Gumbo and Mutasa had allegedly solicited sexual favours from her.
The two former Zanu PF heavyweights are claiming $2,5 million each in defamation damages.
“Take notice that on the 17th day of March 2017, the defendant (Mujuru) entered an appearance to defend this action,” read part of the court papers.
According to the two men, the incident which gave rise to the lawsuit occurred on February 11 this year when Mujuru, while addressing ZimPF structures in Masvingo before their acrimonious fall-out that forced the former Vice-President to rebrand into NPP, uttered a statement concerning Gumbo and Mutasa, saying: “I want you to google then advise each other. They said Mai Mujuru, we want you to be our queen bee. I was supposed to mate with all men in the party. I was supposed to be their wife.”
In their combined declaration, Gumbo and Mutasa said the statement was understood by the addressees and was intended by Mujuru to mean Gumbo and Mutasa were lustful and immoral.
They said the statement was understood to mean: “That the plaintiffs (Gumbo and Mutasa) asked the defendant (Mujuru) to engage in sexual activities with multiple men for political benefit; that the plaintiffs asked the defendant to engage in animalistic-like orgies; that the plaintiffs asked the defendant to engage in cultic sexual relations for the transfer of leadership skills.”
Gumbo and Mutasa further said the uttered words in the context of the article were wrongful and defamatory of them in that they were intended to be understood to mean “expressly and impliedly, that the two men are immoral, lack integrity, are profligate and are debaucherous”.
Gumbo and Mutasa added: “As a result of the defendant’s utterances, there have been disturbances in the plaintiffs’ families and the plaintiffs’ standing as former ministers, statesmen, high public figures and liberation war fighters has been diminished and soiled locally, regionally and internationally.”