Mphoko Daily News lawsuit raises stink

HARARE - Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ) — the publisher of the Daily News, the Daily News on Sunday and the Weekend Post — has pooh-poohed State media reports that the company has failed to defend a $50 million lawsuit that was launched against it by Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko last year.

ANZ Group Editor Stanley Gama said yesterday that the reports were “as usual, deliberately misleading and divorced from reality” — stating that the company was “looking forward” to meeting Mphoko in court.

“Not for the first time in similar circumstances, and for reasons that are not very clear to us, the papers advising us and our lawyers of a pre-trial hearing before Justice Joseph Musakwa on Tuesday were not served at our lawyers’ rightful address.

“This meant that we could not attend the pre-trial conference as then scheduled, as we were not aware of the hearing.

“Fortunately, the moment Justice Musakwa became aware of this glaring anomaly, he promptly called the respective legal representatives to his chambers later in the day, where by consent, ANZ’s defence was re-instated and the new pre-trial hearing set down for March 24, 2016,” Gama said.

In the meantime, ANZ’s lawyers — Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni — have written to Mphoko’s lawyers, GN Mlotshwa & Company, taking issue with the misleading statements that its partner Gerald Mlotshwa gave to the State media yesterday.

“You were quoted saying that we had defaulted attending a PTC (pre-trial conference) on 08 March 2016 and that our clients’ defence had been struck out.

“You are well aware that at 14:15 hours on 9 March 2016 we appeared before the honorable Justice Musakwa, together with your colleague T Madzingwa. By consent the default judgment was rescinded and the defences re-instated.

“We contend that the impression that you gave that we were in wilful default was misleading.

“Further when you became aware that the default judgment had been rescinded and our clients’ defences re-instated you had a duty to advise the press that your earlier advices had not been entirely correct and that they had been overtaken by events,” lawyer Alec Muchadehama said.

At the same time, Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni have also written to the Sheriff of the High Court — copying the Law Society of Zimbabwe and the Judicial Service Commission — raising concerns about the manner in which the Sheriff has been serving papers.

“Our investigations reveal that you served the (Mphoko) notice to attend the Pre-Trial Conference on 6 Duthie Road, Belgravia, Harare in a letter box. We do not know where you got this address from.  Our given address for service in the record is clearly stated as 9 Bates Street, Milton Park, Harare.

“We write to express our displeasure at the manner in which service was ‘effected’ in this matter.

“In another recent case of Lizzie Mawarura & 6 Others V Associated Newspapers Of Zimbabwe — Case No CCZ 68/15 (which the Constitutional Court dismissed with costs) we were also not served with the notice of set down.

“This was notwithstanding that our stated address was clearly 9 Bates Street, Milton Park, Harare. In other cases we have had extremely short notices of set down of matters, including being served in less than an hour before the scheduled time of hearing of matters.

“We would want to express our disquiet at the manner in which your office has been effecting service of process, especially notices of set down.  Your omissions put us in a very awkward position in relation to our clients to whom we owe a duty of care and to whom we have to explain your alleged omissions,” Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni said. When Mphoko first made his demand to ANZ for a staggering $50 million in compensation for alleged defamation regarding a story that the country’s leading daily newspaper carried on June 5 last year, the company made it clear that it would defend the claim.

In the story, based on an interview with firebrand former war veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda, he claimed that Mphoko had sold out during the liberation struggle when he had allegedly diverted weapons meant for the late Joshua Nkomo’s Zapu to President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu — a move that Sibanda said could have led to the needless deaths of thousands of people.

A number of Zapu bigwigs who spoke to the Daily News then — including Dumiso Dabengwa and Thomas Ngwenya (a former deputy to Mphoko) — appeared to buttress Sibanda’s claims. And Mphoko himself had previously admitted diverting the weapons meant for Zapu’s military wing, Zipra, to Zanu’s Zimbabwe National African Liberation Army (Zanla).

Rather surprisingly too, Mphoko has to date not formally moved to either challenge the open source of the story, Sibanda, on his claims, or take him to court — choosing instead to take on the Daily News.

“Defendants (Kwaramba, Gama, ANZ and Printco) will say that the amount of damages being claimed by plaintiff (Mphoko) is ridiculously high and constitutes a petit patio. For this reason plaintiff’s claim must be dismissed with costs,” Muchadehama has said in the defendants’ plea.

Responding further to Mphoko’s claims that his reputation and status had been diminished by the story, Muchadehama said, “Defendants will say that they do not know what plaintiff’s claim to fame is.

“They do not know of his immense contribution to the liberation of Zimbabwe. Defendants will put the plaintiff to the proof of his claims”.

Comments (34)

Matosvorana.yu both g40,whats up now.munotipasa manyemwe,lacoste.A lot of crap has been said n writen about VP Mnangagwa bt nt even once has he taken yu to task on them stories,let alone suing.Ngwena knows its yo area,to report wthout intimidation.lies or trueths he believes its yo job to inform the public .He wont seek to make money out of yo mistakes,right or wrong.and thats the man yu hate Dailynews.?

viola gwena - 11 March 2016

His advisor is probably jonso.they will share the loot.I call it loot coz its unheard of ,a vice president of a nation suing for money,on dump squib case like this.A mockery of us citizens.Instead of finding ways to help Dailynews encrease producon n employ youths this Vp wants to destroy Dailynews,by demanding ransom money over sme dead story of the 70s.This vp is looking for money,nothing else.He is in government for mney.He left Bulawayo in a huff for Harare whr the money is.To hell wth Ndebeles ,money time now.shame on yu vp mphoko.this isvery sad.Sad n a mockery to my mother ,a full blood Ndebele .This man is suposed to represent Ndebele pple in government ,help wth the uplifting of matebeleland thru government.bt frm day 1 he has been a disaster.Runs away from Bulawayo to check in a hotel.?goodness me.

viola gwena - 11 March 2016

This Mboko guy is a real muppet. On the other hand it exposes the lies of Zanoids like viola Gwena and other Lacoste members that Daily News is working with g40, because Mboko is g40. Daily News must teach Mboko a lesson when the matter is heard in court.

Kt - 11 March 2016

$50m ,does he know how much tht money is worth?A VP of a whole nation,wants $50m from a poor newspaper struggling to pay workers,his citizens,.wht are we cming to as a nation?money mongers,lead by presidents?

viola gwena - 11 March 2016

Yes Dailynews has been and is still a good platform for g40.its nt a puzzle .its clear as hotel entrance.They hate Ngwena for unknown reasns,bt try very hard to prop up G40.everyone knows that.Bt we also know of their lack of coherent.like nw ,their vp asking to be paid bfo their project is done.maybe he is seeing colupse of their project thats why he wants to be paid fast n exit.maybe.

viola gwena - 11 March 2016

@viola gwena I agree with you on most of the points you raised about Mphoko but please note this man is not representing our interests (Ndebeles) we never elected or sent him. He was invited to that hotel to represent Zimbabwe's interests. By Zim interests I am referring to vices that you(pointing a finger at you) lot indulge in.

Dlodlo - 11 March 2016

So why is he vp frm zapu?simple.zanu n zapu merged to form zanupf.one vp must be frm zanu n one frm zapu.why?Umdhala allowed this merge becoz of the tribe imbalance,Ndebeles.if he is nt in for Ndebeles so who is?who took over old Josh s place in government?who?who did Mugabe appoint for Ndebeles?

viola gwena - 11 March 2016

Lets just agree this fellow Mphoko is in this for money,nothing else.when last was he in bulawayo.?He is a shame to Ndebeles.zanu shuld hav recalled Dabengwa for that post.not this fellow.Dabengwa lives in Bulawayo,wth us.not this man.

viola gwena - 11 March 2016

if it wasn't for this paper, the dailynews, we would be fed lies and zanu propaganda by the state media day in day out. Bravo Dailynews for telling it as it is. lets see if Mpoko will sue Jabu ngwenya and other decorated Zipra cadres who openly stated that Mpoko did indeed divert the weapons meant for Zipra to Zanla. No wonder you got rewarded by Bob even though you are well well behind in Zapu hierarchy, "Ugegelela imbuya utshiya ulude Mpoko". Dlana uthule njengamanye amasela mdala.

KARMA - 11 March 2016

Telling it like it is without fear or favour- that's Daily News for you.Now concerning Mphoko's claim, this is ridiculous , he's an extortionist and must be charged for that.

Titus - 11 March 2016

This Mpoko guy is an essentric end of the market ,he stays in hotel since 2015 and now has the audecity to sue Daily News be serious Sir.

CHIROODZA - 11 March 2016

MBOKO-CHENA INOPARIRA PARERE NHEMA. CHENA NDEIPI? NHEMA NDEIPI? It is a mystry guys. musana wnagu uri kuvava, pane anogona kududzira chirevo ichi here?

Chimbga - 11 March 2016

I feel pity for people like viola who choose not to understand that Daily News simply reports matters exactly as they are to us. That is why some of us are its fans. We all know how Herald and the rest of its sisters deliberately distort facts in order to please certain sections of the political divide but Daily News is not like that. I am sure viola is not stupid not to know this only she would love to see the paper reporting only the positive side of the falling (or fallen?) Ngwena. Should the Daily News indeed begin reporting with bias, it would cease to be the country's leading daily in an instant. Please viola, stop your unwarranted attacks on our Daily News, it does not take sides at all and you know it.

Mr Dete - 11 March 2016

$50millions! Good grief. Just in case the worse happens,better start rummaging under the sofa for any loose change eh Mr Editor! *gasp!*

Loud Speaker - 11 March 2016

@Viola l used to admire your comments but u are a stupid stinking shona. If u view Ndebeles like that , it was stupid shonas that killed the country . uyezwa stupid shona

Zololo - 11 March 2016

Zalala yu r off topic.who is stupid here.whr did viola say its Ndebeles.?read again n again maybe yu wil grasp the isue here.

kays - 12 March 2016

Viola, the VP from Zapu doesnt have to be ndebele and does not represent ndebele people. Thats just bullshit. Joseph Musika was not ndebele but a shona from ZAPU. Mashonaland west was a zapu political hotbed before matibili disturbed everything zimbabwean. I was zapu but from Masvingo kwaChivi. What has a party got to do with tribes? Lets not be tribalists, and Viola you must be the first to stop being that!

Donato - 12 March 2016

@keyi or Kay if this stupid Viola says to hell with Ndebeles what is she implying . u should reprimand her not me l am provoked by her stupid sentiments about Ndebeles . I don't care about how she feels about Mpoko but she must direct her stupid misdirected anger to Mpoko not Ndebeles. That's why she supports a murderer in stupid mnangagwa may be she was part of that gang that butchered our people- l am saying this based on her stupid sentiments about Ndebeles.

Zololo - 12 March 2016

@viola ngwena,its clear why you distort what the vp said in chiweshe.you think just because you are a karanga its your turn to rule,zapu was never for ndebeleles only,it liberated the whole of the country whilst your ngwena had taken up zambian citizenship,only to resurface plotting ghukurahundi,if you want biased reporting just read the herald

truth - 12 March 2016

Bulawayo is not for Ndebeles, it is 75% Shona, Mat North is not for Ndebeles, it is 60% Ndebeles, Mat South is not for Ndebeles, it is 55% Ndebeles. Mpoko is not a VP for Ndebeles, he is an appointed VP for Zimbabwe. The issue of tribalism has never been part then ZAPU. Nkomo was not a VP for Ndebeles. Munodawafa, Chinamano, Marange, Muchachi, Jirira, Chambati, Nyashanu, Musarurwa, Nyandoro, Marembo, were not Ndebeles but authentic national politicians in the top echelons of ZAPU. They never propagated politics of ethnicity. WHERE DO CHILDREN OF NOWADAYS GET THE TEMERITY TO MAKE THESE RETROGRESSIVE STATEMENTS BASED ON ETHNICISM IN AS FAR AS THE BODY POLITIK OF THIS COUNTRY IS CONCERNED? W e will nmever get anywhere as a country if we harbour and promote these divisive traits. Let us think, act, walk, talk progress not DAESH/ISIL politics here.

Edgar gegane - 12 March 2016

Mboko I mboko ndosaka achigara mu hotera muri kudhura ka varikutoita makwikwi ekupunzira nyika pasi madhibha here rwendo rwakaita rweku Dubai kuno ona sekuru variku horodhe paye Havana hanya nesu ndosaka tikuvabvisa pamberi na mai mujruru

mukanya - 12 March 2016

Mugabe did not appoint Mphoko to the post of VP on merit but for strategic type of reasons. Mphoko was hired to do a ratchet job for Bob especially on his succession project. Mphoko is doing a fantastic job for Bob in executing his G40 project and assisting the First Lady, Grace in positioning herself for the throne. Mphoko is ED's hangman and is doing a crucial job in deciminating ED's supporters in the Party and Govt. As Chairman of the NDC assisted by Grace and Tyson they are making sure ED and his Lacoste supporters are destroyed. So far Mphoko is doing a fine job for Bob,Grace and G40. ED and Lacoste better worry about the Mphoko killer punch in Zanu Pf's NDC which is currently tailor made to deal with all those opposed to Bob,Grace and G40.

Simon - 12 March 2016

Iyi imboko chaiyo inokara mari samare. Besides selling out weapons he wants 50 million. mutengesi anotengesa Tribe yake. We shona do not need such a 'friend'! Mutengesi! Dzakutsaku. Tshombe

J MOYO - 14 March 2016

NXAA MBOKO! DISGRACE AND JUDAS ISCARIOT....PIECES OF SILVER...WHAT IS MONEY AFTER ALL....TRINKETS.......FAT CAT SELLOUT! KkKKKKKKKKK

J MOYO - 14 March 2016

Zalala yu gt me very wrong.I did not imply Ndebeles as "to hell" I meant the idea that is what vp mphoko sggested when he got appointed,he seemed to say to hell wth the ndebeles ,im going to Harare.The isue here is why Vp mphoko does nt remain in bulawayo even as vp?thats what I was questioning.obviously yu gt me wrong ,even tho I said my mother was a Ndebele,yu still dont get.yu may love the tribal card bt its not re.aly my cake.people r people.tribe or no tribe.bt vp Mphoko is in tht position to represent the region,that is a fact.

viola gwena - 14 March 2016

And to Trueth.plse be truethful as yo name wants to suggest.if yu desire to say all those ugly things just do so wthout waiting for oppotunities.yu just joining unconnected facts,implying zero.yes matabeeland is both shona n ndebele,so what?And why is it called matebeleland?yu remind me of late president mandela refering to pres bush"yu dnt think properly"

viola gwena - 14 March 2016

Its Edgar G ,actualy,and trueths.2 baseles silly arguments.bt yu allowed to be silly ,its yo right.

viola gwena - 14 March 2016

Its so stupid n pasive that my isue was questioning how a country s vp stoops so low as to sue a newspaper that is employing his subjects,50m n all yu pple like trueth n edgar dnt see anything wrong bt me viola.im the cause of dailynews problems,wht reasning is that?if yu ask Dailynews is it viola suing or vp mphoko,hey.I thot since education was free in this country ,reasonable pple wuld be in abandance.nt this partisan reasenableness.

viola gwena - 14 March 2016

viola very much misunderstood by those 2.I can clearly see what viola is saying bt dandaheads twist isues to suit their propaganda.so for viola having a ndebele mother means she hates ndebeles n yet her complaint is for ndebeles?funny people

nobert - 16 March 2016

And i agree wth viola,mphoko must relocate to Bulawayo.he must find a mansion there n live there to balance representation.How can we have all presidium live in Harare?nope.viola uri right.

nobert - 16 March 2016

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