Home » Legal and Judicial Affairs » Mutambara Sues Retailer for U.S $1 Million

FORMER Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara has filed a $1 million defamation suit against a local furniture shop claiming he defaulted in settling an $87,500 debt for furniture delivered to his Harare home 2012.

Through lawyers, Mtetwa and Nyambirai, Harare furniture dealer, TN Harlequin Luxaire Limited recently took Mutambara to court over the debt, which the former deputy premier insists was to the account of government.

The company wants him to settle the debt in full with interest calculated from the date of issuance of summons.

Mutambara, in his countersuit, does not deny he took delivery of the furniture but insists the property was purchased for him by government when he was deputy premier. He maintains he was being improperly cited.

“In issuing summons against the plaintiff with a malicious intention andor improper motives, the defendant abused the process of this Honourable Court, thereby losing any protection ordinarily accorded to statements contained in court documents,” reads Mutambara’s affidavit, filed with lawyers Matsikidze and Mucheche.

“Accordingly, the very act of issuing summons was the publication of defamatory falsehoods about the plaintiff.”

He continues, “The plaintiff’s (Mutambara) reasonable apprehension is that the defendant improperly wants to exert undue and unwarranted pressure on him thereby abusing him as a debt collection agent for recovering its debt from the Government of Zimbabwe albeit through malicious and unorthodox means.”

Mutambara is also up in arms over the furniture dealer’s actions, which caused the publication of a story alleging he was evading payment.

He insists the company never even bothered serving him with any summons, even making formal demands for payment.

“The false statements alleging that plaintiff failed to pay a furniture debt was patently defamatory and did harm the plaintiff’s reputation and good name in that any reasonable person can easily conclude or think that the plaintiff is a highly irresponsible person who does not honour contractual obligations when the opposite is true.

“The malicious allegation to the effect that plaintiff failed to pay a furniture debt as peddled by the plaintiff and its agents defamed the plaintiff, resulting in a grave harm to his reputation locally and internationally and thus the plaintiff suffered damages in the sum of One Million United States Dollars (US$1 000 000.00) as a result of the malicious and defamatory allegations aforementioned.

“As a result of the cumulative effect of defendant’s conduct, the plaintiff also suffered an impairment of his dignity and suffered damages in the sum of One Hundred Thousand United States Dollars (US$100 000.00)”

Mutambara also wants the courts to compel the furniture dealer to pay his litigation costs.

Source : New Zimbabwe