Chamber secretary in defamation lawsuit

Gweru City Council’s acting chamber secretary, Gibson Chingwadza, has filed a defamation lawsuit against former workers’ union secretary-general, Frank Muzorera accusing him of making denigrating statements against him.

Stephen Chadenga

In his application at the Gweru Magistrates’ Court under case number B01/2016, Chingwadza alleged that Muzorera uttered words that were “defamatory, denigrating and likely to provoke the breach of peace”.

He said the respondent used a cellphone number under the username, “Pasi na Chingwadza”.

“On or about September 12 2015 I was alerted by my colleague who is a member of a WhatsApp group known as Gweru 24/7 that the respondent was denigrating me,” Chingwadza said in his application affidavit.

“The respondent was using his cellphone line number 0716 072 863 and his username ‘Pasi naChingwadza’.”

Chingwadza further submitted that on November 25 last year, Muzorera allegedly called him a “thief who had looted council property”.

Again on December 22 2015 at a funeral service of a council employee, Muzorera is alleged to have said, “Kunofa vanhu vakanaka kuchisara imbwa idzi vana Chingwadza”, (“Good people die instead of dogs like Chingwadza.”) He alleged Muzorera repeated the same words at the funeral wake.

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But Muzorera denied the allegations saying his mobile phone username was “Pasina Chingwa.”

He said the gathering at Town House on November 25 was lawful and admitted naming the applicant as having “unlawfully obtained financial advantage and enrichment, among other acts of mischief”.

Muzorera said he was referring to a government audit report which revealed council officials implicated in corrupt activities.

At the funeral on December 22 Muzorera denied uttering the alleged words, but said his words were, “Nenhamo ka idzi veduwe, kwafa munhu akanaka kuchisara Satan anoshungurudza vanhu,” meaning, (“A good person has died leaving the devil who torments people.”)

Muzorera alleged that Chingwadza is the one who shouted at him asking, “Satan ndiyani, iwe uri mbwa,”(“Who is the devil, you are a dog.”)

Magistrate, Florence Nago postponed the matter to January 26 after Chingwadza’s lawyer, Robert Ndlovu of Chitere, Chidawanyika and partners said he needed more time to go through Muzorera’s response which had been served to him on Monday.

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