Police to pay $15 000 damages for torture

HIGH Court judge Justice Happias Zhou has ordered the Home Affairs ministry and five police officers to pay $15 000 damages to a Kadoma man for brutally torturing him.

BY CHARLES LAITON SENIOR COURT REPORTER

In a judgment delivered on November 20 this year, Justice Zhou ordered the police to compensate Jeremiah Mugadzaweta after being tortured over allegations of illegally possessing a firearm.

Part of the ruling reads: “Accordingly, judgment is hereby given in favour of the plaintiff (Mugadzaweta) against all the defendants jointly and severally, the one paying the other to be absolved, in the sum of $15 000, together with interest thereon at the prescribed rate from the date of service of summons to the date of payment in full and cost of suit.”

Mugadzaweta had cited both Home Affairs co-ministers Kembo Mohadi and Theresa Makone, police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, Officer Commanding Criminal Investigations Department (Kadoma District), a Detective Inspector Dzapfunya, Detective Constables Sibanda and Nyamurinde as defendants in the matter.

“The plaintiff suffered partial disfigurement of the right buttock. The degree of shock, pain and suffering experienced by the plaintiff at the time of hospitalisation is described as severe,” Justice Zhou said.

“The medical report reveals that there will be permanent scars on the plaintiff’s body as a result of the assault. The doctor stated that at the time of the examination the plaintiff suffered memory lapses and that the problem of loss of memory was likely to continue.”

The incident that led to the lawsuit against the Home Affairs ministry and the others occurred on October 13 2009 at Grand Hotel in Kadoma.

The court heard that Mugadzaweta was on his way to Carax Mine where he had been contracted to provide security services.

While in his hotel room in Kadoma, police officers stormed his room and started assaulting him all over with open hands, booted feet, baton sticks and other blunt objects accusing him of possessing an unregistered firearm.

In the process, the police forced him to lie face down while they took turns to bash him, the court heard.

They later handcuffed him and detained him at Kadoma Police Station.

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