Former Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara is suing TN Harlequin, the company that claimed he owed it US$87 556 for furniture that was bought in 2012. He wants US$1 million for defamation because the company portrayed him as an irresponsible person who did not honour contractual obligations when it was aware that the furniture was bought for him by the government.
According to The Herald, Mutambara said that despite being fully aware that the furniture debt was incurred by the government of Zimbabwe, TN Harlequin “maliciously” and spitefully issued summons claiming US$87 556 from him.
He said a similar arrangement was made for his colleagues, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe but their furniture had been paid for.
“In issuing summons against the plaintiff with a malicious intention and/or improper motives, the defendant abused the process of this honourable court, thereby losing any protection ordinarily accorded to statements contained in court documents,” Mutambara said.
“Accordingly, the very act of issuing summons was the publication of defamatory falsehoods about the plaintiff. In the first place, there was never a loan agreement or purchase arrangement between the defendant and the plaintiff.”
Mutambara also said that prior to the institution of the court proceedings, TN Harlequin never wrote any letters of demand.