I won't apologise: Mujuru

HARARE - Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) leader Joice Mujuru has said she will not apologise or retract the claims she made that her former allies Didymus Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo wanted to have sex with her.

She said the two — who threatened to slap her with a $5 million lawsuit, if she does not publicly withdraw her statement — can proceed to file their defamation suit.

A fortnight ago, Mujuru, whose husband Solomon died in 2011, accused the pair of seeking to turn her into a sex slave after proposing that she be the opposition party’s “queen bee” — a claim First Lady Grace Mugabe went to town about at her recent rally in Buhera North.

In an audio recording of her addressing provincial structures in Masvingo, which has since been posted on Facebook, she accused the once close allies of asking her to sleep with male colleagues in the party, taking advantage that she is a widow.

However, Mujuru’s attorney — Gift Nyandoro of Hamunakwadi and Nyandoro Law Chambers — in response to the duo’s lawsuit, said the former vice president denies the charges and will not apologise.

“...our client denies the ill-advised and misplaced allegations contained therein,” Nyandoro said. 

“For the record, our client is more than ready to defend herself in a competent court of law, should your clients (Mutasa and Gumbo) proceed with their malicious legal process,” he said.

Nyandoro described Mutasa and Gumbo’s legal route as “frivolous and vexatious”.

In a February 20, letter through their attorney, Gerald Mlotshwa of Titan Law, the pair took exception to Mujuru’s allegations.

“You words were malicious and deliberately intended to tarnish our clients’ respective reputation and standing,” Mlotshwa wrote.

“We have instructions to demand from you, on behalf of our clients, as we hereby do, a full retraction of your allegations along with a public apology in respect of the unfounded statement made denigrating our clients,” he said.

“Should we not have received any such retraction and public apology by close of business this Friday, 24th February 2017, we will have no option but to proceed with our clients’ further instructions to sue you in the High Court for combined amount of $5 million,” Mlotshwa threatened.

Mutasa and Gumbo have said the former vice president failed to grasp their “queen bee” statement.

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