High Court judge Justice Thompson Mabhikwa ruled that former Higher and Tertiary Education Minister, Professor Jonathan Moyo, who was slapped with a $5 million defamation suit by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, has a case to answer and must face civil trial.
Chiwenga is suing Moyo over a press statement he issued in July 2017, insinuating that Chiwenga did not earn his doctorate degree with the University of KwaZulu Natal, but instead, someone authored the thesis on his behalf in fulfilment of the programme. Moyo’s bid to avoid trial failed yesterday after Justice Mabhikwa threw out his application for exception with costs.
In the application, Prof Moyo had argued that VP Chiwenga’s summons and declaration were vague and embarrassing. Justice Mabhikwa ruled that Chiwenga’s claim was reasonable, clear and unambiguous. He said Moyo must defend himself in a civil trial. He said Moyo has can file a plea against the ruling within 10 days. Said Justice Mabhikwa:
It is this court’s finding that anyone reading these documents (defendants’ papers included), cannot claim to be disillusioned as to what damages are claimed. The claim is for defamation damages clearly as opposed to adultery damages, damages for loss of earnings or any other damages. The exception is dismissed with costs of suit. Defendant to file his plea within 10 days of receipt of this order.