- Morgan Tsvangirai with Lilian Mpofu, aka Lilian Timveos
Lilian Mpofu, the woman accused of having sex several times in Harare lodges with Movement for Democratic Change-Tsvangirai president Morgan Tsvangirai has filed papers in the High Court in a bid to stop publication of the allegations by Now Daily.
Mpofu is claiming $2.5 million in ‘damages’ from Now Daily and its editor John Chimunhu, who has rubbished the action saying the Midlands senator was driven by a desire to punish him and not to get justice.
Now Daily published allegations of sexual liaisons between Tsvangirai and Mpofu that were made repeatedly on a web page called Radio Chokwadi that was published by her fellow MDC-T party members.
Papers were not served and Mwonzora and Associates, who represent Mpofu are accused of suppressing vital information concerning the suit and alleged offences. The papers finally delivered by an unknown person to Chimunhu’s relative this week were defective, citing the plaintiff as Lilian Timveous who does not exist, in what smacks of criminal intent on the part of the senator who uses several names for official business in violation of the law. Her passport says she is Lilian Mpofu and not Lilian Timveos, the name she mysteriously uses in Parliament, or Lilian Timveous, which is on the legal papers filed at the High Court by Mwonzora. The papers also contain wrong addresses for both Chimunhu and Now Daily, which is domiciled in the USA and not Zimbabwe as claimed by Mpofu.
Chimunhu dismissed claims he had ignored High Court actions against him saying he was never served with any lawful order. He rejected the charges in their entirety and said he would defend the action in court.
“I am prepared to defend myself in any court of law in Zimbabwe,” Chimunhu said. “I am a whistleblower. I saw Parliament fuel coupons being sold on the black market by Senator Lilian Mpofu. That is a very serious crime in a country where the government is struggling to ensure that MPs get fuel to visit their constituencies, and where people suffer from under-representation. Naturally that is of interest to me as both a taxpayer and a citizen of Zimbabwe. For highlighting that scandal on social media, I am being victimized. All these other issues and allegations that I called her a ‘prostitute’ are peripheral and a convenient digression from the core matter of corruption in government, which even the President has condemned publicly and set up an Anti-Corruption Commission to deal with. The adultery charges cited were all over the internet for many years and were not manufactured by me but by people Mpofu actually knows, but she never challenged them. I am being asked to pay $2.5 million and bear the unknown costs of the suit, which is all very unreasonable and disproportionate to the alleged offence even if Mpofu had been defamed. It is obvious there is an ulterior motive, which is to silence me for political reasons and to cripple me financially for reasons which I shall elucidate in court.”
“This is a frivolous lawsuit which the courts must dismiss with contempt and with costs. It is not about justice. Mpofu wants revenge for being exposed as a fraudster over the fuel theft. She is approaching the court with dirty hands. She caused the media to publish false stories about me before any papers were even appropriately served, purporting to have won the case against me and defaming me, for which I intend to sue her. She hired thugs to attack me, a matter that I have discussed with her in person and for which there is evidence. She tried to get the CID to arrest me for unknown crimes. Just last Sunday, she went to the CID offices and was heard by witnesses accusing the officers of failing to carry out her instructions to have me incarcerated for no apparent reason. Now she wants to abuse the High Court, which is clearly wrong,” the editor said.
He said he would escalate the matter to the Constitutional Court as internet freedom and the right to communicate, receive and impart information under the United Nations Charter was under threat from politicians like Mpofu. He also said international protocols that govern the use of the internet were clearly unfamiliar to Mpofu’s lawyers, who wrongly advised her, telling her that she could make big money out of the action and exaggerated the damage done to her reputation by publication of the allegations on a mere blog.
Mpofu is represented by a partner of MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora, who is accused by Mpofu’s husband Michael Timveos’s aides of also having had a sexual affair with her. Mwonzora’s financially troubled firm, Mwonzora and Associates was evicted from its city centre offices for failing to pay rentals and is now operating from Eastlea.
“I am sure this is an attempt by the bankrupt MDC-T officials to raise funds for the 2018 elections. Otherwise, how can someone who is a genuine lawyer advise a criminal who does not have fifty dollars in her handbag to buy a new wig that she can suddenly acquire millions of dollars over such a frivolous lawsuit for which there is no hope of winning? The Law Society and the government must punish incompetent and greedy lawyers who extort their hapless clients by promising them that they can fundraise in the courtroom and make millions of dollars on the basis of weak claims,” Chimunhu said. “Obviously this is a SLAPP, a strategic lawsuit to prevent public participation in a matter that is already in the public domain. Mwonzora and his client will not succeed in their attempts to abuse the courts to clean up their political reputations, which they soiled themselves by their own imprudent actions.”
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