Former Zimbabwe head coach Heath Streak has filed $1 million defamation lawsuit against the Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) board chairperson Tavengwa Mukuhlani following his slanderous statements on national television and a local newspaper.
Recently, Streak and the entire coaching staff were sacked by the ZC after the team failed to qualify for the 2019 World Cup following a loss at the hands of minnows UAE in the 2018 World Cup final qualifier.
In an interview with Daily News, Mukuhlani had said, “Streak was the coach and selector, he was entitled to change the team as he found fit but the question is: why did he change the team in the manner that he did? The white players knew PJ Moor was going to play [against UAE] but none of the black players knew about it. Cephas Zhuwao was only informed [that he wouldn't play] in the warm-up. Why didn't Streak inform the entire team?”
Meanwhile, Streak's lawyer Gerald Mlotshwa confirmed the new on Saturday (27 April), and claimed Mukuhlani’s statement was "deliberately intended to tarnish the plaintiff's reputation".
The reports in Cricbuzz suggested that Mlotshwa stated, “The defendant knew full well or ought to have known at the time he uttered the words that his words were baseless. His words were malicious and deliberately intended to tarnish the plaintiff's reputation. Further, the defendant deliberately and maliciously failed to verify the accuracy and truthfulness of his wrongful and malicious utterances before dishing such words to journalists for the attention of the general public.”
Mlotshwa signed off by saying, “. . . . as a result the defendant's defamatory utterances and resultant publication thereof, the plaintiff's standing as a professional cricketer and a patriot has been diminished and soiled and soiled locally, regionally and internationally. His chances of getting employed elsewhere as a coach have been thwarted. By reason of the defamatory words, the plaintiff has suffered damage to his name and reputation and in all has suffered damages in the combined amount of USD 10,00,000.”