Thursday 8 December 2022


A Harare top neurologist has filed a US$100 000 claim against a fellow doctor for allegedly posting defamatory statements on social media.

Dr Andrew Mataruse found himself in an untenable position after Dr Lenon Gwaunza allegedly unleashed a tirade that brought scorn and contempt on the top neurologist in defamatory and malicious online posts.

In his Twitter handle, @lgwaunza, in particular, on August, 20 2021, Dr Gwaunza questioned Dr Mataruse over his qualifications and demeaned his ability to practice as a neurologist and accused him of maligning his profession.

He also accused Dr Mataruse of fraud and being a medical imposter, who took advantage of the condition of patients.

Dr Gwaunza’s internet rant of malicious and negative criticisms against Dr Mataruse went viral on various social media platforms.

In his defamation claim filed at the High Court Dr Mataruse, who is being represented by his lawyer Mr Admire Rubaya, is seeking damages amounting to US$100 000 from Dr Gwaunza for allegedly injuring his personality and reputation, as a specialist.

According to the claim Dr Mataruse also says that Dr Gwaunza not only defamed him on social media but also wrote to the registrar of the medical and dental profession council of Zimbabwe (MDPCZ).

Following the alleged defamation statements, Dr Gwaunza was served with a letter of demand in October this year.

Despite demand, Dr Gwaunza has allegedly refused to withdraw and correct his defamatory attack or pay the damages demanded of him arising from such slur which has led to Dr Mataruse approaching the courts.

Dr Mataruse is one of the specialist physicians practicing clinical neurology and internal medicine in Zimbabwe.

Mataruse holds many post graduate qualifications including MMed Medicine(UZ), Fellow College of Physicians (Eastern Central Southern Africa College of Physicians), Master of Science in Clinical Neurology (University College London), Specialist Certificate in Clinical neurology (Royal College of Physicians) and Fellow of the European Board Neurology.

Dr Mataruse supervised and mentored Dr Gwaunza during his senior registrar year of 2020 after being duly appointed to do so by the MDPCZ.  Four months after being registered as a specialist physician in July 2021, Dr Gwaunza wrote to the medical council castigating Dr Mataruse standing on academic qualifications and suitability to have supervised him.

In a series of tweets on his micro-blogging site Twitter handle @gwaunza, starting from August 20 2021, Dr Gwaunza, wrote alleged defamatory statements.

Further, in February this year, Dr Gwaunza allegedly authored and circulated an e-mail to a group of medical professionals including the regulator relentlessly attacking the professional and academic standing of Dr Mataruse.

“The widely published tweets that you posted have global reach and they have seriously damaged his major asset which is goodwill and trading brand,” argued Mataruse’s legal counsel.

Dr Gwaunza, argues Mataruse’s lawyer, was aware of the latter’s qualifications before recklessly issuing reckless inflammatory statements on social media.

“Defendant’s defamation against plaintiff is reckless, unprovoked, incessant, malicious, false and insincere in that it is aimed at his own supervisor under whose supervision and by virtue of whose qualifications he became a specialist,” read part of the lawsuit.

“As you are obviously aware, as a specialist in Zimbabwe, our client relies on referrals from fellow colleagues and other medical professionals all of which hinge on a good and reliable reputation.

“Our client has the real risk of incurring quantifiable financial losses

Dr Mataruse further stated that Dr Gwaunza acted disingenuously as he continued practicing as a specialist physician in circumstances where he casted aspersions relating to competence and qualification of his mentor and supervisor who signed him off to attain his current status as a specialist.

Dr Gwaunza who is being represented by Muvingi, Mugadza legal practitioners, is yet to respond to Dr Mataruse’s claim. Herald


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