Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commissioner Mr Goodson Nguni has slapped former Higher and Tertiary Education Deputy Minister Dr Godfrey Gandawa with a US$1,5 million defamation lawsuit.
The case stems from corruption allegations Dr Gandawa levelled against Mr Nguni.
Mr Nguni, through lawyers TK Hove and Partners, filed the lawsuit at the High Court on November 17, 2017.
Mr Nguni’s contention is that on September 12, 2016, Dr Gandawa wrote a letter to his then boss at the ministry, Professor Jonathan Moyo, alleging the Zacc Commissioner had extorted US$12 000 from AB Communications — “a company that was involved in political programmes supported by the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund but was not investigated”.
Dr Gandawa also alleged Mr Nguni received US$6 000 from the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe and a 5 000 square metre residential stand from “one businessman”.
The letter was copied to then Zanu-PF National Political Commissar Mr Saviour Kasukuwere, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda and then Central Intelligence Organisation Director-General Major-General (Retired) Happyton Bonyongwe.
“I am even aware of how the Zacc stand at the agricultural show was funded and under what circumstances,” reads part of the letter.
TK Hove and Partners said the allegations were wrongful and defamatory.
“The letter was understood by the addresser and was intended by (Dr Gandawa) to mean that the plaintiff is dishonest in the following respects;
“(a) (Mr Nguni) is a criminal and has been extorting monies and favours from various businesspeople (b) plaintiff is not fit and a proper person to be a Commissioner in Zacc (c) plaintiff is unprofessional in his conduct and dealings.
“Apart from the defamatory meaning of the letter as set out above, it carries the additional sting that the plaintiff is (a) not a law-abiding citizen; (b) a coward (c) without any moral fibre.
“As a result of the defamatory letter, plaintiff has been damaged in his reputation and has suffered damages in the sum of US$1 500 000.”
Mr Nguni heads Zacc’s investigations panel which is probing Dr Gandawa and Prof Moyo over their alleged abuse of US$400 000 from Zimdef.