Home » Legal and Judicial Affairs » Mangoma Sues Daily News for U.S $2 Million

FORMER MDC-T deputy treasurer general Elton Mangoma has sued a local daily, accusing the publication of “soiling his image” through a story it ran early this month.

In the claim, Mangoma cites the Daily News junior reporter Lloyd Mbiba as first respondent, the paper’s group editor Stanley Gama as second respondent and the publishers of the paper Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ) third respondent.

Mangoma is demanding a total of $2 million and interest in damages from Mbiba, Gama and ANZ over a story published on April 7 this year.

According to Mangoma’s founding affidavit, on the 7th of April 2014 the Daily News published a story headed, “Tsvangirai plot Western donors fingered in conspiracy Dossier claims Mangoma, Biti working with Zanu PF”.

Mangoma argues that the paper in the article claimed that he had “… personally benefited through access to resources such as farming implements and also business tenders, as well as deals courtesy of the manipulation by the Zanu PF system”.

The former Energy Minister further argues that the paper claimed that: “The same and two other persons namely Tendai Biti, the secretary general of the MDC-T and Roy Bennett the treasurer general of the same party, were a group of persons working together since 2012 to cause harm to the person of Morgan Tsvangirai and were in fact rebels.

“The Plaintiff and the said rebels, were now working with Zanu PF, and western donors, to prevent Morgan Tsvangirai from contesting in the 2008 General election,” he said. Mangoma said the newspaper described him and “his co-rebel conspirators had financially sabotaged Morgan Tsvangirai’s bid to be president of the country in the July 2013 general election” as well as characterising them as rebels who had spied on party leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s “private issues”.

The story, according to Mangoma, claimed that “the rebels had received $10 million from Zanu PF”.

“The Plaintiff and his co-rebels had diverted funds away from the MDC which included, $4 million from the USA, $2 million from Australia and $1,5 million from Scandinavian countries and $5 million from other sources.

“That the Plaintiff and his co-rebels had received 100 (one hundred) vehicles from donors which vehicles they handed over to their sympathisers in South Africa.

“The Plaintiff and his co-rebels were waging cyber-warfare against Tsvangirai on internet sites such as Radio Chokwadi and Harvest Likis which were being funded by the same”.

Mangoma said the article was “wrongful and defamatory of the Plaintiff in that it was intended and was understood by the readers of the newspaper and its internet page that Plaintiff is dishonest, corrupt, conspiratory, unworthy, a plotter, a schemer”. “More particularly the aforesaid article was understood to mean that the rebels and indeed the Plaintiff was corrupt and dishonest individual who had benefited from Zanu PF corruption, tenders, and other illegal deals, including obtaining farm implements, a sell-out, conspirator who had betrayed the cause of his party (MDC-T) by working with Zanu PF and had sabotaged the 2013 election by ensuring that Tsvangirai did not win”.

He added that the Daily News was a paper widely distributed in Zimbabwe and widely read by the general public that also had a website and that the story had also been reproduced on other internet sites causing him damage that he now values at $2 million.

Source : New Zimbabwe