2 October 2018
CHIVI South Member of Parliament Killer Zivhu has instructed his lawyers to claim US$1m for general damages and defamation against his Norton counterpart Temba Mliswa.
Zivhu claims Mliswa has been defaming him from April 25 last year to date via social media and published articles in the mainstream media.
“Plaintiff’s claim against defendant is for general damages for defamation of character commensurate of the gravity and extent of the case, pursuant to social media publications authored and published articles by the defendant to the general public on social media platforms on or about the 25th of April to date, concerning the plaintiff which was per se defamatory,” reads part of the summons from Machiridza Commercial Law Chambers.
Mliswa has 10 days to respond to the summons.
“If you do not enter appearance to defend, the plaintiff’s claims will be heard and dealt with by the High Court without further notice to you,” the summons read.
Zivhu claims Mliswa has been using a twitter account @TembaMliswa since April 25 last year to tweet defamatory statements against him.
“Defendant has been using the social media platform to tweet defamatory statements implicating that the plaintiff is corrupt and that he is a thief who corruptly acquired land in Norton, which he has failed to develop and sells dubious stands to Galloway residents and does not provide them with title deeds,” reads the summons.
Zivhu argues that Mliswa’s twitter account had a huge following and the tweets had been retweeted by other twitter users thereby broadening the viewership of the defamatory tweets and allegations.
Newspaper website articles, Zivhu claims, all quoted Mliswa as the source of the defamatory articles.
“The defendant’s words, in the context of the tweets and numerous articles, are untrue, wrongful and defamatory of the plaintiff in that they were intended and were understood by the readers and followers on twitter to mean that the plaintiff is dishonest, manipulative, pretentious, divisive, unscrupulous, cold hearted towards the public, and unworthy of leadership.
“The defendant’s words were further understood to mean that the plaintiff is a criminal with intentions of defrauding the poor public members and residents of Galloway Norton of their money in selling them stands,” the summons read.
The US$1m claimed attracts five percent per annum interest from the date of judgment to the date of payment in full and cost of suit on a higher scale.