LABOUR and Social Welfare minister Petronella Kagonye has been taken to the High Court by a war veteran, Oswell Gwanzura, who is demanding $500 000 in damages after she allegedly dumped a corpse at his house accusing him of killing the victim.
BY CHARLES LAITON
The alleged incident occurred on November 7, 2015, in Goromonzi when Kagonye used her father Stanely and some “hired thugs” to carry the deceased, Taurai Jera’s casket and paraded it at Gwanzura’s homestead.
Through his lawyers from Mudimu Law Chambers, Gwanzura issued summons against the Goromonzi South Constituency MP on March 15, 2018, claiming his reputation in his community and before the President and Cabinet had been severely impacted.
“Generally, the utterances of the defendant (Kagonye) and her act of dumping the deceased (Jera) body at the plaintiff’s (Gwanzura) place of residence has the effect of lowering the plaintiff’s standing in the eyes of his community, political party and even the province since the plaintiff is a well-known war veteran and a political cadre within the structures of Zanu PF Mashonaland East Province. He is personally known by the President of the Republic, as well as members of the Zanu PF Politburo, central committee and provincial structures,” Gwanzura said in his declaration.
The war veteran said sometime in November 2015 Kagonye held a meeting at her farm, where hundreds of people attended and she laid murder allegations against Gwanzura.
“Specifically, the defendant made scandalous and fallacious allegations against the plaintiff. She claimed plaintiff assaulted and murdered Jera in 2015. Defendant initiated and hired thugs to dump the deceased’s body at the plaintiff’s place of residence using a Ford Ranger which was the official Zanu PF vehicle allocated to the defendant by the party.
Gwanzura said later that day Kagonye “hired some thugs” who were led by her father, who took Jera’s corpse and dumped it at his place of residence after which she invited people in the community to see the white casket of the deceased person.
“The intention of the plaintiff was to create some sort of evidence against the plaintiff which could be solicited from members of the public.
The defendant initiated and convened a Kangaroo Court demanding $10 000 cash and seven cattle from the plaintiff alleging that plaintiff had killed Jera, in a bid to extort money from the plaintiff,” he said.
Kagonye is yet to respond to the litigation.