BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
CHIVI South legislator Killer Zivhu (Zanu PF) has filed for rescision of default judgment by High Court Justice Tawanda Chitapi, which dismissed his $1 million defamation claim against Norton MP, Temba Mliswa (Independent).
In his application, Zivhu submitted that the default judgment was erroneously granted against him.
“The respondent (Mliswa) contravened the rules of the court by causing the setting down of the special plea for hearing before the trial date. (It) constituted a procedural error and that the subsequent granting of the default judgment by this honourable court was made in error,” Zivhu submitted.
He said he was, therefore, seeking an order rescinding the default judgment obtained by Mliswa.
Zivhu, who is also the president of the Cross Border Traders Association (CBTA) and the chairman of the Zimbabwe Amalgamated Housing Association (ZAHA), last year filed the lawsuit after Mliswa allegedly tweeted on his personal microblogging Twitter account, labelling Zivhu “a thief and a corrupt individual”.
According to Zivhu, Mliswa, who operates a Twitter account under the name “Hon Temba P Mliswa @TembaMliswa”, had since April 25, 2017 to October last year when summons were issued, been using the social media platform to tweet defamatory statements against him.
Zivhu further said he, together with his organisation, ZAHA, were reported to various police stations, Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Frauds, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc), former President Robert Mugabe, army and various government departments by Mliswa, for his arrest, but no action has been taken against him.
However, after receiving the summons, Mliswa filed an appearance to defend and later a special plea in support of his defence, in which he said: “The summons is materially defective in that the plaintiff (Zivhu) pleads and attaches evidence to the summons in contravention of Order 15 Rule 99 (c) of the High Court of Zimbabwe”.
On May 21, 2019, the matter was then heard by Justice Chitapi in Zivhu’s absence after he failed to attend court to substantiate his claim.
“Whereupon after reading documents filed of record and hearing counsel, it is ordered that; defendant’s (Mliswa) special plea is upheld and plaintiff’s (Zivhu) claim be and is hereby dismissed with costs on the attorney and client scale,” Justice Chitapi ruled at the time.