Lawyer sues for defamation

HARARE - A senior Harare lawyer is demanding $35 000 from a fellow lawyer who he claimed defamed and “extorted” money from him.

Tinofara Kudakwashe Hove has since filed a High Court application under case number HC 9345/13 demanding payment from Gift Maseko of Sawyer and Mkushi Legal Practitioners, and Clear Gumunyu and Maxwell Gumunyu.

Hove, who is represented by Lewis Uriri, told the court that Maseko wrote a defamatory letter to resident magistrate Brighton Pabwe, at the instance of the other two respondents, in October last year.

He said the letter was not only copied to him but to members of the judiciary and legal profession, the messenger of court, the Zimbabwe Republic Police and members of the public.

Hove said the letter among other issues portrayed him as corrupt and as someone who was in the habit of obtaining dubious court orders.

“The said words, in the context of the letter, are wrongful and defamatory of the plaintiff (Hove) in that they were intended and were understood to mean that the plaintiff is dishonest,” he said.

“As a result of the defamation, plaintiff has been damaged in his reputation and has suffered damages in the sum of $20 000.”

He told the court that because of the trio’s malicious allegations, he and two of his staff members were arrested and detained.

According to the court application, Hove claims that between 11am and 7pm on the day, the trio demanded $5 000 from him, threatening him with arrest.

“The defendants’ actions of demanding $5 000 from plaintiff and members of his staff amounted to extortion,” Hove said.

He said he paid the money under duress, while at Harare Central Police Station and no receipt or invoice was issued.

He said he is entitled to a refund and that his arrest and detention was “wrongful and unlawful” and is claiming a further $10 000 in damages.

The trio has, however, denied the claims, claiming their letter was not defamatory.

“…the letter gave one specific event where it was considered that the plaintiff’s conduct was irregular and illegal in all the circumstances and that such conduct had prejudiced 2nd and 3rd defendants.

“Defendants deny any responsibility for the plaintiff’s alleged arrest and detention as alleged and put the plaintiff to the proof thereof,” the trio said.

Comments (2)

One is persuaded to believe plaintiff feared exposure rather than arrest when he agreed to be party to the corrupt cash transaction

Abri - 13 September 2014

Pedzeranayi magweta mega, you always pretend you are above law. There is no smoke without fire

Garikayi - 13 September 2014

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