TECHNOLOGY minister Supa Mandiwanzira has dragged businessman and fellow Zanu PF party cadre, Agrippa Musiyakurima, to the courts demanding $150 000 as compensation for defamation.
The lawsuit was filed with the High Court last week through advocate Brian Hungw under the instruction of Dube, Manikai and Hwacha DHM commercial law chambers.
According to court papers, the lawsuit emanated from several social media postings by Masiyakurima accusing the ICT minister of thievery, corruption and immorality.
Beef between Mandiwanzira and Masiyakurima started last year after the minister suspended the former NetOne boss, Reward Kangai, over the mobile network base stations tender awards.
The NetOne tender saga opened a can of worms and saw Masiyakurima accusing Mandiwanzira of abusing his position as the responsible minister by awarding one of the tenders to a Chinese company in which he had a stake.
Since then, the two have been exchanging nasty rants through the social media.
In his lawsuit seen by NewZimbabwe.com, Mandiwanzira said he wanted $150, 000 from his Zanu PF colleague for three false and defamatory claims made through the social media.
In the first claim the ICT minister said Masiyakurima accused him of stealing diamonds.
“The postings authored and published by the defendant in March (16-17 2016) defamed the plaintiff in that the defendant made false allegations that the plaintiff was complicit in the plunder of diamonds, employed thugs to trail and victimize opponents,” read the first claim in which Mandiwanzira is demanding compensation of $50 000.
Mandiwanzira’s second claim said Masiyakurima accused him of using the First Lady Grace Mugabe to grab state entities such as Telecel for his own personal gains.
The minister said he should be compensated $50 000 for these “false” accusations.
The third and final claim in which the ICT minister also wants Masiyakurima to compensate him $50 000 for defamation, arose from the latter’s 19 January Facebook posting in which he (Masiyakurima) accused Mandiwanzira of trading his wife through Grace Mugabe for money which he used to acquire businesses.
“The defamatory posting defamed the plaintiff in that he suggested he has a corrupt relationship with the first lady, that his alleged theft of public funds has a hereditary bearing to his mother who was or is a whore and a thief, that he sold his wife to another man for the love of money, and his business companies are a result of him trading his wife for money. The defamatory statements suggest that the plaintiff is corrupt, immoral and avaricious,” read the court papers.
Masiyakurima was given 10 days to respond.
Apart from being a government minister, Mandiwanzira owns a local national commercial radio station, ZiFM Stereo, a construction company and a public relations and communication consultancy company Mighty Movies.