A Zimbabwean legislator has been hit with a US$1.5 million civil suit by his former journalist companion who has accused him of knowingly infecting her with HIV.
Lawyers for plaintiff Simiso Mlevu of the state-owned B-Metro tabloid in Bulawayo, the country's second-largest city, served Movement for Democratic Change Member of Parliament for Insiza South Siyabonga Malandu Ncube in the case Thursday.
Mlevu seeks $1 million damages for the reduction of her life expectancy and $500,000 for future medical tests and treatments.
She also wants $50,000 for the embarrassment she says she suffered when Malandu allegedly sent her abusive messages.
No hearing was immediately scheduled in the civil case. But a related criminal case was back in magistrate's court after a High Court judge ruled last week that Malandu could not be compelled to be tested for HIV, as a magistrate had earlier ordered.
Attorney Kossam Ncube, representing Malandu, told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamili Nkomo he is confident both the cases against his client will fail.
“We are now faced with the original criminal case and the civil suit filed today. But I’m quite confident my client will emerge victorious," he said.
Repeated calls to Mlevu's attorneys went unanswered.