Metbank files $100 million NSSA defamation suit

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By Mary Taruvinga

METBANK has dragged the National Social Security Authority (Nssa) to court demanding payment of $100 million defamation for damages allegedly caused through publication of what it feels were falsehoods against the bank.

This comes after the bank was recently implicated in a Nssa scandal with claims it worked in cahoots with disgraced former Social Services Minister Prisca Mupfumira who is in remand prison for allegedly siphoning nearly US$1 million State funds.

In the summons filed with the High Court, Nssa was cited as first respondent while BDO Zimbabwe Chartered Accountants is the second respondent.

BDO is a partnership by Ngoni Kudenga, Gladman Sabarauta, Martin Makaya, Gilbert Gwatiringa and Jonas Jonga.

According to the summons, on March 4 2019, BDO authored and subsequently published a Nssa Forensic Audit for the period January 1 2015 to February 28 2018 relying on information supplied to it by Nssa.

“The said document was published to the Auditor General for the Republic of Zimbabwe and was subsequently published and circulated widely in Zimbabwe and outside Zimbabwe through the print and electronic media by the defendants or the other parties to whom the document had been published by them.

“The document is defamatory because it states that Metbank benefitted from pressure applied to Nssa by the then Minister of Public Service (Mupfumira) and ended up getting facilities which were not merited and that Metbank entered into a number of transactions with Nssa which did not make economic sense from Nssa view point resulting in prejudice or exposure to Nssa amounting US$62 003 796,” said Metbank.

Nssa was allegedly pressured to award two contracts to an entity known as Metro Realty without following procedures.

It was published that the contractor in respect of the project is related to Metbank which was also getting favours from Nssa as a result of Mupfumira’s pressure.

Metbank said the allegations portrayed the bank as corrupt and that it acted unlawfully.

“The plaintiff, being a banking institution and law-abiding corporate citizen’s reputation was maliciously impaired by the reports which were false and intended to injure its reputation and the plaintiff has suffered damages in the sum of $100 million.

Metbank is being represented by Tanyanyiwa, Gapare Attorneys.

The case is pending.