A TWO-YEAR-OLD “gay defamation” lawsuit filed by Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo against Norton MP, Temba Mliswa, claiming $20 million compensation, is set to be heard on Friday by High Court Judge President George Chiweshe.
Source: Moyo, Mliswa ‘gay gangster’ lawsuit far from over – NewsDay Zimbabwe November 23, 2016
BY CHARLES LAITON
Moyo issued summons against Mliswa sometime in October 2014 following the publication of a story in the Daily News under the headline Gays hijack Zanu PF, claiming the publication of the article was wrongful and intended to injure his reputation.
At the time of the issuing of summons, Moyo was Information, Media and Broadcasting Services minister, while Mliswa was representing Hurungwe West. “When defendant (Mliswa) called for a Press conference and uttered the statements, ‘Some of us wonder if the party has been hijacked by these homosexuals, but it is now time we stopped it. We cannot go to congress in December with gays in our midst…’, he was aware that the utterances were false. Defendant was aware that the statements were wrongful and injurious to the plaintiff’s (Moyo) name and character,” Moyo said.
He alleged the statements were published and read throughout the world, saying: “Plaintiff has been contacted by friends, relatives and well-wishers about the defamatory statements.
“As a result of these statements, plaintiff was injured in his reputation, humiliated and embarrassed. The words ‘gay gangster’ are more embarrassing and injurious in Zimbabwe, especially as President Robert Mugabe has compared gays as worse than dogs and pigs …”
In his response to the claim, Mliswa filed an exception to the summons, arguing it did not disclose any ground for action. “The summons does not disclose any cause of action. It does not allege or specify the delict committed and how the defamation arose. It does not allege any publication to whom and the dates thereof,” he said.
Mliswa also said Moyo’s declaration did not allege how the words “gay gangster” were understood by the public and whether or not they conveyed any meaning that was defamatory to Moyo.
The Norton MP further said Moyo had failed to point out “how Mugabe’s own views of gays being worse than dogs and pigs of necessity makes the phrase ‘gay gangster’ defamatory”.
“The plaintiff’s declaration is, thus, bad in law and does not disclose a cause of action,” he argued, praying for the dismissal of the summons and the declaration with costs.