By Mary Taruvinga
HIGH COURT judge, Jesta Charehwa will Thursday hear a case in which Information Deputy Minister Energy Mutodi is challenging a $40 000 defamation claim lodged by former Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi and ex-Health Minister, David Parirenyatwa.
The two former government officials jointly sued Mutodi in 2017, accusing him of posting falsehoods on his Facebook page regarding the alleged poisoning of then Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa during a Gwanda rally by then President Robert Mugabe in August 2017.
Mutodi demanded an urgent trial on grounds that further delays were inconveniencing him.
In the case, the deputy minister distanced himself from the Facebook post saying the page was not his.
“It could be that some other persons unknown to the defendant could have opened such a page using the defendant’s name and photograph. He will further state that before the alleged publication of the article in other news website or Facebook, no one contacted him from Facebook and from news websites to verify the correctness or authenticity of the source of the article. The first and the second defendants (Sekeramayi and Parirenyatwa) have to look to Facebook and these news websites for relief.”
Sekeramayi and Parirenyatwa claimed sometime in 2017, Mutodi allegedly posted on his Facebook page, an article titled: “Two ministers top suspects in ED poison case” which circulated countrywide and beyond the borders.
The article, according to the former ministers, put them in bad light as it insinuated that they gave Mnangagwa samoosas, sandwiches and grapes that were laced with poison.
Mutodi is being represented by Chinyama and Associates.