By Mary Taruvinga
THE feud between opposition MP for Gweru, Brian Dube and Tinomudaishe Chinyoka a losing candidate in public interviews for the position of Prosecutor General, has taken a twist with the legislator now demanding damages in return.
Chinyoka earlier this year slapped Dube with an US$2.7 million claim as damages for “defaming” him after causing the Harare lawyer and Zanu PF activist’s arrest over assault allegations.
In his response dated April 16 2019, Dube said Chinyoka is not entitled to any damages because he never published any falsehoods against him.
The MDC lawmaker instead suggests that either the Law Society of Zimbabwe or Chinyoka were the first to publish the accusations against the latter.
“It is true that the defendant wrote a letter of complaint to the LSZ in respect of the assault and harassment at the hands of the plaintiff. The complaint was only addressed to the LSZ. The LSZ has a duty to receive complaints against legal practitioners of which plaintiff is one. Defendant is entitled to lodge complaints with the LSZ as he did the communication between defendant and the LSZ was therefore privileged and therefore cannot be defamatory of the plaintiff,” Dube said.
Dube added:“It is denied that the contents of the email as stated by plaintiff were defamatory as they were true and in the public interest. Plaintiff himself published the incident earlier than the defendant. Plaintiff is therefore not entitled to any damages. There is no justification for the sum claimed.”
When the alleged assault happened, Dube, was reportedly representing another opposition MDC MP for Chiwundura, Livingstone Chiminya, who is facing charges of inciting violence.
Chinyoka has since been charged with assault and threats of future violence and is yet to appear in court to answer to the charges. The incident happened at Gweru Magistrate’s Court early this year.
After the alleged assault, Chinyoka then filed a claim demanding US$308 083 as defamation damages and US$2 460 010 for “injurious falsehood”.
Chinyoka in the claim argues that the sum of US$308 083 and US$2 460 010 are damages for defamation and injurious falsehood, “plus interest thereon at the prescribed rate from the date of summons to the date of payment and costs of suit, as more fully appears in the attached declaration which is incorporated herewith.”
Dube insisted he was assaulted by Chinyoka.