Zifa president Felton Kamambo and his acting deputy Philemon Machana slapped Norton Member of Parliament Temba Mliswa with a $4 million lawsuit for alleged defamation.
BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
Mliswa is alleged to have made defamatory statements in a discussion with David Matsanga on Kenya-based Punchline Africa TV last Friday as well as on his Twitter handle.
The outspoken parliamentarian alleged that US$750 000 from Fifa was diverted to Zifa account which was then used by the officials for personal use, among other things.
Zifa lawyers Ngarava, Moyo and Chikono Legal Practitioners demanded a retraction from Mliswa, failure which they would institute a claim for defamatory damages amounting to $4 million.
“We are instructed to, as we hereby do, demand that you retract the patently defamatory statements you made against our clients within seven days of the date of this letter.
“We are instructed that on divers occasions and using Twitter handle and during live broadcast of Punchline Africa TV you uttered statements to the effect that our clients abused money from the association in the sum of US$750 000 that was meant to cater for the Zimbabwe men soccer national team in Egypt during the Africa Cup of Nations tournament,” reads the letter of demand delivered to Mliswa’s Lawyers Kadzere, Hungwe and Mandevere yesterday.
“You stated that the money was diverted for personal use and that the Zifa officials took their girlfriends to Egypt using money meant for the national team at the expense of the intended beneficiary. These statements are defamatory per se in the sense that you are accusing our clients of theft and that they are not fit and proper people to hold public office as they abuse public funds. Further, the statements are defamatory in that they mean that our clients are promiscuous people who engage in adulterous behaviour using public funds,” added the letter.
Mliswa’s utterances came after the Warriors threatened not to fulfil the Afcon opener against Egypt on Thursday last week, an incident which forced African Confederation of Football to intervene so that the team could feature in the tournament opener against hosts Egypt.
The players only managed to receive the allowances nine hours before the kick-off after another threat on the day of the game.
Another defamation lawsuit also targets journalist Hope Chizuzu who is facing $6 million litigation for alleged defamatory statements made on social media through his Facebook page
Zifa is accusing Chizuzu of making defamatory statements to the effect that Zifa embezzled $740 000 received from Fifa to the detriment of the association and the national team.
He is also believed to have alleged that Kamambo, Machana and another Zifa official Givemore Chidhakwa are facing criminal prosecution over the issue of the “embezzled” funds, among other alleged defamatory statements.