By Anna Chibamu
ZANU PF’s Chegutu West legislator Dexter Nduna has hit independent Norton MP Temba Mliswa with a US$10 million defamation claim after the pair nearly came to blows during a parliamentary committee hearing earlier this week.
The outspoken and controversial Mliswa immediately scoffed at the summons on Twitter, citing the Parliament’s privileges and immunities under which legislators are not liable for civil or criminal proceedings for anything said in Parliament and its committees.
On Monday, a raging Mliswa called Nduna a “thief, double thief, triple thief”, adding that the latter stole some $11 million from the Zimbabwe National Roads Authority (Zinara).
Furious, Nduna – a former Air Force of Zimbabwe staffer, told Mliswa that he would deal with him outside Parliament, boasting that he had killed many people he could not even remember.
In summons filed at the High Court, Nduna said Mliswa’s utterances during the altercation had damaged his “reputation, dignity and good standing”.
Said the ruling party “Plaintiff’s claim against Defendant is for payment of the sum of USD$10 million plus interest thereon at the prescribed rate from the date of issuing of summons to date of full payment being defamation damages suffered by Plaintiff as a direct result of utterances of defamatory statements by the Defendant during a meeting of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines, repeated during après briefing and in local newspapers and published electronically on the internet locally and internationally, which defamatory statements injured the reputation, dignity and good standing of the Plaintiff in the eyes of the public and the world at large.”
The summons suggested bitterness still abides between the legislators despite Nduna apologising for his killer remarks and the two apparently sitting peaceably next to each other during parliamentary proceedings Tuesday.
Responding to the summons on Twitter, Mliswa quipped; “For one who professes so much intelligence this baffles me.”
Anyway I’ll just leave this here for ease of reference as the interview was conducted at Parly too ??♂️…. pic.twitter.com/sIuO94LTaL
— Hon. Temba P. Mliswa (@TembaMliswa) February 12, 2019