Professor Jonathan Moyo has responded to Retired General Constantino Chiwenga’s defamation lawsuit and has argued through his lawyers Artherstone & Cook Legal Practitioners that the statement deemed defamatory is open to many interpretations.
In a press statement released in May 2017, Moyo insinuated that someone wrote Chiwenga’s PhD thesis. In the press statement Moyo threatened to reveal who wrote the thesis. said Moyo:
Finally, I’m happy that Chiwenga wants pre- and post-independence disclosures about who was who, who did what and so forth. That’s good. Meanwhile, I take that to mean he wants the disclosure of who contributed what to his doctorate and who really wrote his KZN PhD. Again, the Shona wisdom that kunyarara kurinani pane kutaura, applies. #Handeitione.
Moyo’s lawyers argue that the interpretation by the media of the statement suggests the defamatory nature of the words. Part of Moyo’s application reads:
The plaintiff’s summons and declaration are vague and embarrassing because the words of the press statement ascribed to the defendant are capable of more than one meaning and lack the averments necessary to sustain a claim of defamation…The words, in their plain ordinary meaning, suggest that plaintiff never wrote his Doctorate in Philosophy from the University of KwaZulu Natal. Subsequent damaging newspaper and social media articles whose interpretation of the statement suggests the defamatory nature of the words attest to this.