Ziyambi was heard on the audio repeatedly calling Daniel Kalira an “idiot” and refusing to engage him. He also denied having an affair with Kalira’s “wife”.
Kalira now says he was pushed by the minister’s estranged wife Florence Ziyambi to cause him embarrassment by making the adultery claim.
Ziyambi is currently divorcing his wife of 27 years, telling a court earlier this month that they have been living separately for six years.
New Zimbabwe.com has heard three audio recordings of Kalira speaking to the minister, his uncle and also a journalist.
“I have no such issues in my life,” he said when asked by the reporter if the minister was having an affair with his wife.
Instead, Kalira said he had filed a criminal complaint against his ex-girlfriend Tariro Shangu for allegedly sending e-mailed threats to his workplace at a local telecoms firm. She also allegedly defamed him on Faceboook after threatening to “make him trend”, apparently because he was seeing other women.
“It’s Tariro who is dragging the minister into this. That woman is very cunning. That’s the reason why I wanted to meet the minister in the first place and demonstrate to him the kind of person she is,” Kalira told his uncle.
In another audio, he tells the minister that he recorded their angry exchange at the instigation of his estranged wife, who also allegedly caused it to be posted online.
“She said let’s publish this, let’s tell the journalists to say ‘ABCD’ and I said it’s not right, we cannot do that,” Kalira says.
“When the divorce proceedings were reported in the paper, she said we need a counter move so that it would appear like there is a story behind (infidelity by Ziyambi). She wants to use this matter as a leverage to achieve what she wants.”
Ziyambi denies having an affair with Shangu, who works as a legal officer in the ministry of justice.
Shangu told NewZimbabwe.com that Kalira was her ex-boyfriend, adding: “I have never been married. I’m not in a relationship with the minister and it actually hurts to see him being dragged into this. He doesn’t deserve this at all.”
Florence Ziyambi, who is yet to file papers in her divorce case, declined to answer our questions.