Bhasikiti in trouble

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JUSTICE minister Emmerson Mnangagwa’s wife, Auxilia, and four others have won a $50 million defamation lawsuit in the High Court order against Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti.

BLESSED MHLANGA
STAFF REPORTER

Bhasikiti, who together with axed Zanu PF Midlands provincial chairman Jason Machaya and former spy Douglas Kanengoni are accused of authoring a defamatory letter against Auxilia, Gokwe Kana MP Owen Ncube, Douglas Tapfuma, July Moyo and McKenzie Ncube, failed to file opposing papers in case HC2172/14 on time.

Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa
Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa

This led to the plaintiffs’ lawyer Valentine Mutatu applying to have the matter against Bhasikiti placed on the roll as an unopposed matter.

Seating in chambers last month, High Court judge Justice Lawrence Kamocha granted the order against Bhasikiti and ordered that he pay costs of the suit.

“The third respondent’s (Bhasikiti) defence under case No HC 2871/13 be and is hereby struck out, the applicant (Auxillia and others) be and is hereby ordered to set the matter as an unopposed matter on the unopposed roll and that third respondent to pay the costs of this application,” part of order 0039770 reads.

Auxillia and her compatriots filed damages amounting to $10 million each after Kanengoni’s internal petition in which he alleged the five had connived to rig internal Zanu PF provincial elections in favour of their candidate Larry Mavhima in provincial polls leaked to the media.

Mavhima lost the elections to Machaya, but a faction aligned to Mnangagwa claimed the poll was littered with rigging and vote-buying.

Machaya and Kanengoni have refused to pay damages accusing the Mnangagwa camp of being nothing but sore losers.

Through their lawyers Sachikonye Ushe, the two said Auxilia, Moyo, Tapfuma, Owen Ncube and Makenzie Ncube had no case.

“This claim has been filled simply because the plaintiffs are bitter as a result of their loss in the elections,” part of the response reads.

“The averments made in the election petition were true and correct and can easily be verified. The said petition was not a personal attack on the plaintiffs, but was a candid revelation of the truth on the ground.

“Plaintiffs are therefore challenged to point out any malicious falsehoods made against them if any,” the plea reads.