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Challenge winner sues OK

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One of this year’s OK Zimbabwe Grand Challenge winners has taken the departmental store to the High Court demanding damages amounting to $350 000 for unlawful arrest, defamation of character and deprivation of liberty.
Eric Msundire of Bulawayo is suing OK Zimbabwe through his lawyers Mtombeni, Mkwesha, Mzawazi and Associates, following his failure to redeem his prize from the supermarket chain and his subsequent arrest on allegations of fraud.
The supermarket is yet to file an appearance to defend and submit the defendant’s plea at the High Court.
OK Zimbabwe is renowned for its Grand Challenge competition, in which its customers walk away with huge prizes such as vehicles and houses.
Msundire participated in the OK Grand Challenge on May 29 this year after purchasing various products from OK Marimba in Harare’s Belvedere suburb.
Among groceries purchased by Msundire was a promotional item, Dursots beans. Msundire purchased 36 cartons of the beans consisting of 144 tins.
Msundire was given competition coupons for the Dursots beans equivalent to the number of tins he had purchased and the serial numbers of the coupons were in sequence since it was a single purchase.
He was also given coupons for the other products he purchased and he entered the competition by filling the Dursots coupons following all the rules and regulations relevant to the competition.
Msundire deposited the filled coupons at a designated submission point.
In his declaration filed with the summons, Msundire said he was announced a winner of a microwave in The Herald and Chronicle of June 9 this year while an invitation to receive his prize at Rainbow Towers was sent to him by OK Zimbabwe.
Msundire said he travelled all the way from Bulawayo to Harare together with his family members to receive various prizes.
While at the hotel Msundire said his name was called, his prize announced and he was asked to produce his identification particulars for verification.
An OK official allegedly approached Msundire with the message that there was some paperwork to be done and asked Msundire to follow him and view the microwave he had won at the same time.
The OK official allegedly led Msundire to a car park, where two police officers approached him and advised him that he was under arrest. Msundire was detained from June 16 to 17 at Braeside Police Station on allegations of fraud and was later transferred to CID Serious Frauds Squad on June 18. He was eventually taken to Harare Central Police Station where he was released, following the intervention of his lawyers who produced some receipts of the alleged transaction.
He alleges that he was detained against his will after he had genuinely participated in the OK Grand Challenge competition, only to be exposed to a lot of diseases as some inmates were coughing badly while others were vomiting on the floor.
Msundire further alleges that as a condition of his detention he was detained without shoes when it was very cold.
He further claims in the court papers that he had no blankets to cover himself with.
As a result of his alleged unlawful detention, defamation of character, contumelia, injuria and deprivation of liberty, Msundire is claiming $350 000 in damages.

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