HARARE - Expelled former MDC deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma, pictured, is suing the Daily News for a whopping $2 million, accusing the popular daily of defaming him through a story that the newspaper published in its edition of April 6 this year.
In that story, the newspaper reported on an MDC dossier, which is in the paper’s possession, which claims that Zanu PF is allegedly working with some former senior MDC party officials such as Mangoma to oust Morgan Tsvangirai from the leadership of the party.
The dossier makes further claims that Zanu PF did not want to face the MDC leader in the 2018 polls, which President Robert Mugabe was unlikely to participate in due to advanced age and declining health.
It also fingers some Western embassies in the conspiracy and alleges that these donors are pulling together millions of dollars to help a coalition of MDC rebels and Zanu PF to oust Tsvangirai.
Mangoma was given ample opportunity by the Daily News to comment on all the allegations contained in the dossier and duly went on to reject and rubbish the accusations in detail.
An analysis of the 17-page dossier by the Daily News showed that some of the claims in the document mirrored closely the charge-sheet that was served on Mangoma by the MDC when he was suspended by the party before his expulsion.
In his robust and extensive rebuttal of the claims in the MDC dossier, all captured at length in the Daily News story, Mangoma not only rubbished the dossier, but went further to
allege that the document had in fact been authored by MDC organising secretary Nelson Chamisa — who on his part is yet to comment on these counter allegations.
“Don’t phone me to ask about Chamisa’s false reports,” Mangoma fumed then.
“First, I never benefited anything from Zanu PF, be it farming implements or whatever. It is on record that I was the only MDC minister who was arrested several times during the unity government.
“This was so because I refused to be corrupted and work with Zanu PF.
“It is Tsvangirai who is working with Zanu PF. He is staying at a Zanu PF house. He is married to a Zanu PF daughter. If there is anybody who is working with them, it is Tsvangirai. He and Chamisa are the ones working with Zanu PF,” he said.
Mangoma also alleged in that same story that Tsvangirai was behind his assault outside Harvest House earlier this year. Tsvangirai has flatly denied this claim and the case is now before the courts.
“Instead of responding to my letter, Tsvangirai hired Chamisa to look for thugs to beat me,” Mangoma said further.
“Violence is the strategy of people working with Zanu PF and everyone knows that it is Tsvangirai and Chamisa who are working with Zanu PF.”
Curiously, Mangoma’s legal action against the Daily News was reported in detail by a well-known London-based website last week, although his papers were only served to the Daily News on Tuesday this week.
It is also a little surprising that although the former Energy minister in the inclusive government now feels defamed by the story, he was very happy to not just comment on the allegations in the dossier when the Daily News contacted him, but went on to make serious claims against his political opponents and former colleagues in the MDC in that story.
In the claim, Mangoma cites Daily News writer Lloyd Mbiba as first respondent, Group Editor, Stanley Gama as second respondent, and the publishers of the paper, Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ), as third respondent — alleging that the article was defamatory and that it portrayed him as “dishonest, corrupt, conspiratory, unworthy, a plotter, (and) a schemer”.
The Daily News is defending the matter.