War vets leader sues Matemadanda $400k for defamation

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By Mary Taruvinga

War Veterans Pressure Group (WVPG) leader, Amos Sigauke has slapped Zanu PF political commissar, Victor Matemadanda with a $400 000 lawsuit for defamation after the latter allegedly made statements tarnishing the organisation’s reputation.

Sigauke has filed summons against Matemadanda, who is Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) secretary general, with the High Court also citing the WVPG as second plaintiff.

Sigauke claims Matemadanda made the defamatory utterances through an article published in a local tabloid on July 1 this year.

“On July 1 2019 at Harare, the defendant (Matemadanda) stated to the paper, circulating nationally in hard copy and accessible worldwide on its website saying me and my group are being sponsored to destabilise his Excellency, the President and Head of State of the government of Zimbabwe, Mr Emmerson Mnangagwa by making absurd demands,” the claim reads in part.

Sigauke also claims Matemadanda accused him and his group of being financed by a war veteran who is bitter and also that he had refused to protect the sponsor from his rape case when he wanted to be an MP.

The alleged sponsor was however not named in the summons.

“The rapist pours a lot of money for anything against me,” Matemadanda allegedly said.

Sigauke said the utterances were published in an article entitled, “War veterans demand psycho-support.”

He submitted that the statements by Matemadanda were wrongful and defamatory of the plaintiffs.

“The statements were understood by the addressees and were intended by the defendant to mean that plaintiffs are dishonest and without moral in that they associate themselves with rapists.

“Additionally, the statements by the defendant were understood by the ordinary reader to depict that plaintiffs wwere engaging in acts to subvert a constitutionally elected government through unconstitutional means,” he said.

Sigauke said the statements were made with the intention to defame plaintiffs and to injure their respective reputations.

He wants Metemadanda to pay the amount including interest at the prescribed rate from the date of judgement to the date of full and final payment and 10% collection commission in terms of the Law Society of Zimbabwe Regulations as well as costs of suit.

The case is yet to be set down for hearing.