By Mary Taruvinga
EXILED former Zanu PF spin-doctor, Jonathan Moyo, is now seeking an out of court settlement in the $5 million defamation lawsuit filed by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga two years ago.
Chiwenga claims Moyo defamed him after the former Higher Education Minister issued a press statement in July 2017, alleging the former Defence Forces Commander paid an unknown person for his doctorate thesis with South Africa’s Kwazulu Natal University.
Moyo’s lawyer, Sympathy Muzondiwa, on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that the parties have agreed on an out of court settlement.
“Parties have engaged each other and decided to solve the matter amicably…to say the matter is hereby withdrawn,” said Muzondiwa.
However, Chiwenga’s lawyers were not available to collaborate the claim. Moyo’s bid to have the case withdrawn on that basis was rejected by Supreme Court Judges Justices Ben Hlatshwayo, Anne-Mary Gowora and Lavender Makoni.
“Why do you want us to withdraw the matter instead of dismissing it? If we withdraw it, it will remain like some ghost that will continue moving in our corridors and we do not want that but we want to kill it completely. The appeal be and is hereby dismissed; appellant to tender wasted costs,” Justice Hlatshwayo said.
The case will now be heard at the High Court and Moyo will pay the costs of the Appellant Court hearing.
Moyo allegedly issued the statement on July 9, 2017 which was published on various media platforms, portraying Chiwenga as a dishonest person who cheated to get the PhD qualification.
Chiwenga, through his lawyers Wilson Manase and Wellington Pasipanodya of Manase and Manase Legal Practitioners, said the statement was highly defamatory of him and he is entitled to the damages.