Mliswa slapped with $10m defamation lawsuit

BY CHARLES LAITON

Norton MP Temba Mliswa (independent) has been taken to the High Court by BDO Zimbabwe boss, Ngoni Kudenga, who is demanding $10 million compensation for alleged defamation.

The lawsuit emanates from a letter dated May 14, which Mliswa allegedly wrote to Auditor-General Mildred Chiri, with an attachment of a document titled: Report on the Abuse and Capture of the National Social Security Authority (NSSA).

In the summons, Kudenga also cited Daily News, its editor-in-chief Hama Saburi and the publisher, Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (Pvt) Limited (ANZ) as co-respondents. They are yet to respond.

Kudenga said when Mliswa authored the report, his conduct was “actuated by malice and there was no legal basis for him to copy the falsehoods to mentioned
dignitaries nor was there any justification for such conduct given to Parliament”.

Mliswa’s letter was copied to Vice-Presidents Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi, Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, former Labour and Social Welfare
minister Petronella Kagonye, the then Home Affairs minister Obert Mpofu, Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Phillip Valerio Sibanda, former Prosecutor-
General Ray Goba and Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga.

Kudenga said the contents of the report appeared in the Daily News of May 15, 2018 under the headline, Mliswa, Ex-Nssa boss Vela square off giving the
impression that he had a corrupt personal relationship with Vela.

He added that the statement implied that he and BDO Zimbabwe were corrupt characters.

“The article was not only untrue in all respects, but highly defamatory of the plaintiff (Kudenga) and was so published with the express intention and motive
of casting aspersions on the character of the plaintiff and his organisation, lowering him in the estimation of ordinary reasonable persons within the
newspaper’s readership and exposed him to distrust, public ridicule and contempt, both in his professional and personal capacities,” Kudenga said in his
declaration.

“The facts alleged by the first defendant (Mliswa) were proven to be false by an independent investigation and it was the duty of all the three defendants to
verify the facts before generating and publicising the defamatory and stinking document.

“The article and contents of the first defendant’s report published by the second and third defendants (Daily News and ANZ), thus contained wrongful, malicious
and defamatory allegations which appeared on the world wide web and tarnished plaintiff’s image as well as that of his organisation.”

Kudenga further said as a result of Mliswa’s actions he has been subjected to severe embarrassment and loss of standing because the article aroused concerns
from friends, family, colleagues and business partners both locally and internationally and the public in general.

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