The fight between President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s allies Kudakwashe Tagwirei and Justice Mayor Wadyajena got nasty last week after the business mogul accused the youthful Zanu PF legislator of being an extortionist.
Tagwirei made the claims in a notice to defend a $3,6 million lawsuit filed by Wadyajena.
The Gokwe-Nembudziya MP is accusing the Sakunda Holdings owner of illegally using fuel tankers from his company, Mayor Logistics.
However, in papers filed by his lawyers Manase and Manase Legal Practitioners on November 5 at the High Court, Tagwirei accused his rival of trying to extort money from him.
He is demanding that Wadyajena answers several questions including whether he is not “driving an extortionist agenda”.
“Does the plaintiff take this claim seriously? Is this not an attempt to run an extortionist agenda?” Tagwirei asked.
“Is the amount of almost $3 million that plaintiff and his shareholder, Hon Justice Mayor Wadyajena, have received not satisfactory?
“Are the plaintiff and Hon Justice Mayor Wadyajena running an extortionist cartel to fleece genuine businesses?”
Tagwirei added: “Is this claim not evidence of state capture by rogue political party youths who are running an illegal cartel to extort money from Zimbabweans through threats and intimidation?”
The fuel magnet claimed he entered into an agreement with Wadyajena and had paid everything agreed on.
The notice of appearance to defend himself was accompanied with agreements entered into between Wadyajena and Tagwirei including evidence of payment of $1 883 666.00 to the MP on May 22, 2018 through his lawyers.
Tagwirei claimed that was the last payment made to offset his obligations to the MP.
Also included in the documents is a copy of a memorandum of agreement that the two would not to sue each other made on April 24, 2017.
The agreement outlined the terms of settling the amounts owed so that Wadyajena vacates Harare business premises owned by Tagwirei.
However, in his application Wadyajena insisted he was owed money for the use of the four fuel tankers belonging to his company without his consent.
He claimed this resulted in a $3,6 million loss in business and that each truck suffered damages of $14 812, 12 per month.
In response, Tagwirei demanded to be furnished with proof by Wadyajena that he had not been paid for the services.
Wilson Manase, Tagwirei’s lawyer, said if Wadyajena had a good case, he did not need to run to newspapers.
“The truth of the matter is that, there is no cause of action from Wadyajena, who I respect a lot,” he said.
“Documents at hand, which both parties have, do not give support to a cause of action,” Manase said.
“The matter here is that it would have been better if he did not file such an application.
“We have entered appearance to defend because we believe we stand on firm ground in the court.”
Tagwirei is one of the key financiers of command agriculture, a programme spearheaded by Mnangagwa.
— The Standard