BUSINESSMAN Energy Mutodi has challenged former Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi and Health minister, David Parirenyatwa to withdraw their $40 000 defamation suit against him if they are no longer interested in pursuing the matter.
Sekeramayi and Parirenyatwa jointly sued Mutodi late last year, accusing him of posting falsehoods on his Facebook page regarding the poisoning of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
After receiving the summons, through his lawyers Chinyama and Associates, Mutodi demanded urgent trial, saying further delays were inconveniencing him.
“Please kindly note that we filed our plea on October 27, 2017 and we have not heard from you. May you kindly indicate if you still intend to pursue this matter? If you have no intention to do so, may you file a notice of withdrawal?,” the businessman said in a letter addressed to the two’s lawyers, Machingura legal practitioners.
Prior to writing to the ministers’ lawyers, Mutodi had responded to the litigation denying any involvement with the alleged Facebook post.
“It is further denied that the defendant (Mutodi) operates a Facebook page under the name Energy Mutodi. It is denied that such a Facebook page can be ascribed to the defendant neither was it opened at the instance of the defendant who denies any links with it,” Chinyama said.
“It could be that some other persons unknown to the defendant could have opened such a page using the defendant’s name and photograph. He will further states that before the alleged publication of the article in other news website or Facebook, no one contacted him from Facebook and from news websites to verify the correctness or authenticity of the source of the article. The first and the second defendants (Sekeramayi and Parirenyatwa) have to look to Facebook and these news websites for relief.”
In their litigation, the two ministers claimed sometime in August last year, Mutodi allegedly posted on his Facebook wall an article titled “Two ministers top suspects in ED poison case” which circulated countrywide and beyond the borders.
The article, according to the ministers, put them in bad light as it insinuated that they gave Mnangagwa samoosas, sandwiches and grapes that were laced with poison.
The food, according to the online report, came from Sekeramayi’s home.