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Fadzai Mahere Sues Petina Gappah Over Tweet

Top lawyer and civil rights activist, Advocate Fadzai Mahere is suing another legal practitioner and President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s office ...

Top lawyer and civil rights activist, Advocate Fadzai Mahere is suing another legal practitioner and President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s office employee, Petina Gappah, for $1 million for alleged defamation of character.

Through her lawyers Coghlan, Welsh and Guest, Mahere filed summons at the High court on Thursday this week and Gappah is yet to file her appearance to defend.

In her declaration, Mahere said Gappah recently published a series of tweets on her micro-blogging Twitter account @VascoDaGappah accusing her of corruptly enrolling at the University of Zimbabwe and the Cambridge University and also attempting to seduce Gappah’s boyfriend at some point.

“In a series of tweets on Twitter on the night of Saturday September 29, 2018, defendant (Gappah) published a series of tweets about plaintiff (Mahere) to the effect that plaintiff did not qualify to be admitted into the University of Zimbabwe for her Law degree,” Mahere said.
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“Plaintiff was admitted into the University of Zimbabwe only because her father was a permanent secretary in the government and he used his influence to get her admitted because she was not qualified to be admitted on her credentials.”

Mahere further said Gappah indicated she wrote her the “essay that enabled her (Mahere) to get into Cambridge University for her Master’s Degree”, adding Gappah further said: “Mahere tried to get into her (Gappah) then partner’s pants”.

The advocate also said Gappah’s allegations were highly defamatory, given that they were retweeted several times and published on various electronic social media platforms.
“The allegations were false and highly defamatory. These false allegations were seen not only by the defendant’s followers on Twitter, but were also retweeted several times and carried on various electronic, social media platforms and online newspapers as the defendant must have known would happen,” she said.

“They have damaged plaintiff’s standing as a lawyer, law lecturer and practicing advocate and caused irreparable harm to her political career and her influence as a civil society activist,” Mahere said, adding Gappah refused to retract the allegations and apologise despite demand.

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