- Published on 02 October 2014
- Written by New Zim
INFORMATION Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo and his cabinet counterpart Saviour Kasukuwere will hit Hurungwe East legislator, Themba Mliswa, and Newsday newspaper with lawsuits totalling US$80 million for defamation.
This follows attacks on them by Mliswa who claimed that they are "gay gangsters". Mliswa added that Moyo was a "US CIA spy".
Jonathan Samkange of Samkange and Ventures said he has been instructed to act on behalf of Moyo and the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate, Kasukuwere, and file defamation charges against Mliswa and the Newsday, a daily publication of the Alpha Media Holdings.
According to Samkange, both ministers have filed separate lawsuits against Mliswa and the Newsday to the tune of US$20 million.
Moyo will demand $20 million from Mliswa and a similar amount from Newsday; ditto Kasukuwere.
"I shall be filing soon on behalf of the two ministers who feel that their rights and image in society has been denigrated by the series of articles that came out quoting Cde Mliswa. The articles were false, defamatory and malicious in the sense that the two are not 'gay' and the President could not have possibly appointed them if they were gay," said Samukange.
"Don't forget the President regards gays as worse than dogs and pigs. To suggest that these two Cabinet ministers who are also members of the Politburo and Central Committee are gay is seriously insulting and intended to humiliate the two."
The articles come as Zanu PF, the party they both belong to, is involved in factional fights over who should take over from President Robert Mugabe when he retires. Zanu PF is preparing to hold an elective congress in December where a fresh leadership is set to be elected although Mugabe is likely to go unchallenged.
The lawsuits come after Mliswa was quoted in the Newsday in three different articles denigrating the cabinet ministers.
Kasukuwere and Moyo have taken issue with a September 29 Newsday article headlined 'Jonathan Moyo is CIA,' and another one on 30 September headlined, 'Mliswa Labels Rivals Gay Gangsters.'
The daily also carried another article on 1 October 2014 headlined, 'Mugabe faces gay gangsters.'
Samkange said all the quoted articles defamed the two cabinet ministers, hence the lawsuits.
Sources say two more publications will be sued for alleged defamation by the same cabinet ministers in the next few days.