By Robert Tapfumaneyi
RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor John Mangudya has turned his swords against Zanu PF deputy youth secretary Lewis Matutu as the fall-out over a naming and shaming anti-corruption crusade turned pear-shaped.
Matutu on Monday led the youth league executive into pinning corruption allegations against some senior party politicians as well as top government officials who include Mangudya.
The Zanu PF youths claimed the named individuals were, through their activities, fanning anarchy in the economy.
Mangudya has reacted swiftly and through his attorneys, Kantor and Immerman, is now demanding $1 million in damages.
“We have instructions from our client to demand immediate retraction of the statements via public press conference and public notice coupled with the publication of a written apology to our client signed by each of you personally and on behalf of the Zanu PF youth league for injury caused to his reputation,” Kantor and Immerman wrote to Matutu.
“We also have instructions to claim damages from you jointly and severally. We estimate our client’s damages at $1 million.”
Matutu was given five days to comply or face litigation.
The lawyers said the allegations against the central bank chief are wholly unsubstantiated and have tarnished his name and reputation locally and internationally, as he is a well-respected regulator, former banker and public official.
“The whole statement and your utterances on the occasion are per se defamatory of our client and in addition you impute dishonest and unethical regulatory practices and or management conduct, bias, as well as bad and reckless business practices,” the Apex Bank chief argued.
“The defamation is aggravated by the fact that no attempt whatsoever was made to contact our client prior to publication, nor did our client afford an opportunity to tell his side of the story or comment.”
Others identified as corrupt include Zanu PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu, cabinet ministers Priscah Mupfumira and Jorum Gumbo, controversial businessman Wicknell Chivayo and artisanal miners boss Henrietta Rushwaya.