Minister sued for defamation

BULAWAYO - The minister of State for Midlands Province Larry Mavhima is being sued for alleged libellous statements he made against a local property development firm.

According to court papers, Mavhima was reportedly interviewed by a local newspaper on December 2, 2018 where he made remarks perceived to be defamatory and damaging to the company.

He is alleged to have said that River Valley Properties did not follow procedure in the construction of Woodlands Park in Gweru and that government was working on administrative legal processes to seize the land from the company as punishment for the alleged misdemeanours.

“The statement was factually wrong in that the all proper procedures were followed and for the avoidance of doubt, the plaintiff’s interest in the said land were to develop it on behalf of the ministry of Local government,” said the property developer through its lawyers.

The company says Mavhima damaged its reputation and standing in society, resulting in it suffering damages in the sum of $60 000.

“The said words in the context of his (Mavhima) address were wrongful and defamatory of the plaintiff in that they were understood by the audience as it insinuated that the plaintiff had benefited from unprocedural means to acquire the land known as Woodlands Park, Gweru….,” it argued.

River Valley Properties is an indigenous land developing company that specialises in providing affordable housing to low-income earners.

It claims in court that it is a law abiding entity that has not at any given point been found guilty in any court of law.

It also denied any knowledge of administrative legal processes to seize the said land.

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