David Masunda, owner of the Masvingo Mirror, and the newspaper editor, Golden Maunganidze, are set to appear in court in the capital after Mzembi filed criminal defamation charges over a story that linked senior Masvingo politicians to the theft of president Robert Mugabe’s birthday gifts last month.
Among the alleged stolen gifts are hundreds of tonnes of sugar, and an unlimited quantity of fuel and beef.
However, The Mirror article never mentioned any names, but said ‘big names’ were implicated in the theft.
Masunda and Maunganidze’s lawyer, Aurthur Marara of Musheche and Matsikidze, said they were going to question why the matter was being handled in Harare when it originated in Masvingo, where there are competent courts, as well as police stations.
“I have been instructed by my clients to write to the officer commanding Harare central Criminal Investigation Department (CID), chief superintended Ngirishi, threatening him with legal action over the way the matter is being handled by the appropriate jurisdiction,” reads part of Marara’s letter.
He adds,”We are instructed that the allegations have their roots in Masvingo. In terms of the magistrates Courts Act, the mgistrates’ court does not have universal jurisdiction. It can only enjoy jurisdiction over matters that have arisen within its territory.”
According to prepared court papers, two freelance journalists from Harare-believed to have been sent by Mzembi to spy on Maunganidze-will give evidence in court in support of Mzembi’s case.