Zimbabwe’s exiled former Information Minister, Professor Jonathan Moyo, has dismissed as “scurrilously defamatory”, a report published by the state-controlled Herald newspaper in which modelling instructor Sipho Mazibuko is claiming that he raped her while she was pregnant eleven years ago.
In a series of tweets, Professor Moyo accused the newspaper of being used by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government to silence him on Twitter.
He “categorically and emphatically” denied the allegations, noting that “for the record, I never spent a second of my life with Sipho Mazibuko alone. Specifically I was not a minister 11 years ago and I never saw nor spoke to her then!”
Professor Moyo also dismissed claims by Mazibuko that she reported the matter to the police. “At no time in my life did any @PoliceZimbabwe officer anywhere in Zimbabwe engage me on these false and outrageous allegations. Also I never had any direct or indirect involvement with Mrs Mazibuko's psychiatric care!”
Mazibuko, who ran the Miss Rural Zimbabwe pageant and others, has over the years accused some top government officials of raping her. All the accused persons dismissed the allegations as baseless, alleging that she needed some psychiatric help.
According to the state-controlled Chronicle newspaper, she suffered a mental breakdown in 2011 following accusations that she was using the pageant as a bait for top government officials and others to support her activities.
She once told the newspaper that “the demonisation I endured from the media was immense. Coupled with other factors, I experienced a mental breakdown, which resulted in me being admitted to Ingutsheni Hospital 11 years ago.”
She further told the newspaper that “this was because I had turned down sexual advances by a well-to-do executive. He in fact took two models from camp and convinced them to give false statements about me. One of the stories was that I was using them as bait to fundraise for my own benefit. However, as it turned out the allegations were thrown out because they were baseless and held no merit. The models could not prove the allegations and until now there was no docket to prove the allegations. I became stressed and suffered from depression, resulting in my mental problems.”
Mazibuko, who is planning to re-launch the pageant, was unavailable for comment as she was not responding to calls on her mobile phone.
Police told an online publication that they don’t have a record of a rape case involving her and Professor Moyo.