Harare, July 16, 2013 –Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) secretary-general Tendai Biti has engaged the services of feisty human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, to defend himself in a defamation lawsuit filed by Didymus Mutasa, the Zanu PF secretary for Administration.
Facing a strong electoral challenge from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T, Mutasa, the Zanu PF Headlands constituency aspiring parliamentary candidate belatedly sought to cleanse himself from accusations of murdering a 12 year-old boy, five months after his death, by filing a US$5 lawsuit against Biti alleging that the Finance Minister damaged his reputation.
Biti has now engaged the award winning Mtetwa, who has defended several MDC-T officials and human rights defenders who have faced persecution at the hands of state security agents. Mtetwa recently entered an appearance to defend Biti after he was served with the summons on July 9.
Mutasa, the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs in the Office of the President and Cabinet filed the multi-million dollar suit for damages against Biti following claims during a stormy cabinet session which degenerated into a naming and shaming session that the Finance Minister fingered the former liberation fighter for plotting the arson attack on Christpowers Maisiri.
In his court papers, Mutasa claimed that Biti impaired his character after he told a cabinet meeting held on 26 February and attended by the entire cabinet members including President Robert Mugabe that the former liberation fighter was responsible for masterminding the death of the 12 year-old Headlands boy, who was burnt in his parents’ house in Headlands.
Mutasa is the Zanu PF candidate for Headlands constituency and he will square it off with MDC-T’s David Tekeshe in parliamentary elections scheduled for 31 July.
Mutasa said Biti also repeated the same statement outside of cabinet and to the media and during the burial of Christpowers implicating him in the murder of the 12 year old boy.
The Zanu PF secretary for administration said Biti’s statements injured his “good name” as he is internationally known and has an unimpeached character.