Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo has filed a $4 million lawsuit against Zimbabwe Newspapers (Zimpapers), accusing the Sunday Mail and Sunday News of defaming him in an article about an alleged vehicle scandal.
In the lawsuit, Moyo cited Sunday Mail investigative editor, Brian Chitemba, and his editor, Mabasa Sasa, as well as Sunday News editor, Limukani Ncube, as respondents.
In his founding affidavit Moyo said,
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The claims, allegations and assertions made by the defendants, as set out above, are false, malicious, scandalous, wrongful and defamatory of plaintiff in the extreme in that on their plain and ordinary meaning, they simply allege theft by the plaintiff and were intended by the defendants and understood by the readers of the Sunday Mail and The Sunday News to mean that plaintiff is a thief, who stole two motor vehicles and that plaintiff is dishonest. In addition to the plain and defamatory per se contents of the articles, as set out above, the defamatory allegations carry out with them the secondary meaning, innuendo and sting that the plaintiff is not a law-abiding citizen and, therefore, unfit to hold public office. The plaintiff’s reputation and standing, being a current and serving minister of government, has been significantly lowered in the eyes of the public. As a result of the defamatory articles, plaintiff, who is a Cabinet minister and a revered academic, has been damaged in his reputation and has suffered damages in the amount of four million dollars.