BY MOSES MATENGA
AN investigator with the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) and a junior police officer have slapped top cop, Senior Assistant Commissioner Erasmus Makodza with a $15 million defamation lawsuit after he alleged that the pair was corrupt and received bribes from a prominent land developer.
Zacc investigator Eric Chacha and his wife Fortunate Dube, who is a police officer based in Marondera through their lawyers from J Mambara & Partners alleged that Makodza defamed them by making claims in a letter addressed to police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga.
The letter dated March 4, 2021 alleged that the two were engaged in suspicious relations with land developer Felix Munyaradzi who is embroiled in court battles with Makodza, the ZRP officer commanding Matabeleland North.
Makodza also alleged in the letter to Matanga that Dube was involved in financial transactions with Munyaradzi, who is an accused person in a case of fraud relating to land in the Sandton area of Mt Hampden in which Makodza is a complainant.
The top cop also alleged that there was a sexual relationship between Dube and Munyaradzi and that the land developer had bought the junior cop a vehicle and assisted in building a house.
“The said words in the context of the letter and the published articles stemming therefrom are wrongful and defamatory of the plaintiffs in that they were intended and were understood by the recipients of the letter and readers of the newspapers to mean that Chacha is a dishonest and corrupt person while Dube is a promiscuous, corrupt and shady character,” the declaration by the two now before the High Court read in part.
The lawyers said the publication of the “false and vexatious” article caused harm to the pair. “As a result of the defamation, plaintiffs have been damaged in their reputation and have suffered damages in the sum of $15 million,” the lawyers said.
Recently, lawyers representing Makodza wrote to Zacc alleging that Chacha should recuse himself as he is allegedly obstructing the course of justice and criminally abusing his office.
The top cop also wrote to the Special Anti-Corruption Unit (Sacu) asking it to investigate Chacha for alleged abuse of office.
Makodza was recently arrested for criminal abuse of office as a public officer for illegally crafting a deal for his alleged girlfriend, Mawonei Chapfudza, which enabled her to enter into a farming joint venture with the police at Lendy Farm in Marondera in 2019.
He was remanded on $10 000 bail.