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Disgraced US politician sues Mugabe

Publish date: 09 July 2018
Issue Number: 781
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: Litigation

Former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and several former Cabinet Ministers are being sued for at least $35m by a US congressman, after he claimed to have been tortured by the country’s intelligence operatives while in custody. The Daily News reports that lawyers for Mel Reynolds said their client was demanding $35m for stress and injuries he had sustained during torture by intelligence operatives. Reynolds cited several former Ministers, including President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s special adviser, Christopher Mutsvangwa; former Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi and former Central Intelligence Organisation head Happyton Bonyongwe. The Chicago Sun Times reports that the former US congressman was arrested in 2014 after being found with pornographic material. Legalbrief reports that the pornography charges were later dropped, but he pleaded guilty to violating immigration laws, and was deported to SA. He claimed in early March 2014 to be hiding there from Zimbabwean death squads, who he claimed were targeting him because he possessed information about American companies from Chicago doing business illegally in Zimbabwe. He resigned from Congress in 1995 following a conviction for statutory rape.

Mel Reynolds profile

Full Chicago Sun Times report

Full Daily News report