REGISTRAR-GENERAL Clemence Masango is claiming $3,5 million in defamation damages from a Harare man who allegedly called him a corrupt government official.
Masango recently issued summons against Godwin Gumisai Mureriwa accusing him of having defamed him on September 19 this year in front of staff at Harare Central Registry.
In his declaration, quoting Mureriwa, Masango said: “Plaintiff (Masango) is corrupt and habitually abuses his office by allocating emergency passports to his relatives while prejudicing deserving applicants of a timely service and such conduct is deliberately calculated by plaintiff to sabotage the government’s economic turnaround effort and that applicant has and continues to have illegal and unfettered access to the confidential records lodged in the national registry”.
Masango said Mureriwa’s statements were wrong, defamatory, false and were intended to be understood by those present, when they were uttered, to mean that he (Masango) was corrupt, unpatriotic, incompetent, a saboteur and not a law abiding citizen who lacks moral fibre.
“The said statements were motivated by malice and were intended to defame plaintiff and injure his reputation, lowering him in the estimation of his subordinates, his employer, his family, ordinary reasonable persons, exposing him to public ridicule and contempt in his professional and personal capacity,” Masango said.
“Plaintiff was subjected to great defamation and embarrassment by the said utterances and was damaged in his reputation inter alia, as the Registrar General, a civil servant and citizen of Zimbabwe. As a result of defendant’s defamation, plaintiff has been damaged in his reputation and has suffered damages in the sum of $3,5 million.”
Mureriwa is yet to file his response to the claim.