Court orders State to compensate rape victim

THE Supreme Court of Zimbabwe yesterday ordered the government to compensate a woman who gave birth after she was raped by robbers.


The court said officials in the Ministry of Home Affairs and their counterparts in the then Health and Child Welfare ministry acted negligently by delaying to terminate the pregnancy after the victim reported that she had been raped.

Judge of Appeal Justice Bharat Patel said the Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Health and Child Welfare were accountable for their employees’ actions and, as such, should be ordered to compensate the rape victim.

“In summation, I am satisfied that the police failed in their duty to assist the appellant timeously in having her pregnancy prevented by the doctor. Again, the doctor himself failed to carry out his professional duty to avert the pregnancy when it could have been reasonably prevented,” Justice Patel said.

The Supreme Court, however, absolved the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs of any wrongdoing in the matter.

The victim told the court that on April 4 2006, she was attacked and raped by robbers at her home and immediately reported the matter to police. She also said she requested that she be taken to a doctor to be given medication to prevent pregnancy and any sexually transmitted infection.

The court heard that she was later taken to hospital and attended to by a Dr Kazembe to whom she repeated her request to prevent pregnancy, but the doctor only treated her injured knee.

She said the doctor told her he could only attend to her request for preventive medication in the presence of a police officer and further indicated the medication had to be administered within 72 hours of the sex attack having occurred.

Efforts to get assistance from the police and the hospital proved futile resulting the victim giving birth in December of the same year.

The court, however, remitted the victim’s claim of damages for pain and suffering to the High Court for the granting of a default judgment in such amount as the court may assess and determine after due inquiry, together with the question of costs.

In 2012, the woman made a High Court application seeking an order to compel the State to pay damages and maintain her child, but the matter was dismissed.

Justice Patel upheld the dismissal of her maintenance claim against the State, saying the liability of a third party outside any familial relationship was traditionally confined to one who would have deprived a dependant of support by wrongfully causing the death or incapacitation of the person supporting the claimant.

Justice Patel’s judgment was passed with the concurrence of Justices Paddington Garwe and Anne-Mary Gowora.

Do you have a coronavirus story? You can email us on:


  1. good judgement.State should also mantain and adopted the do u expect this woman to look at this baby which daily refresh her memory of such a henous crime.

    1. How to earn 300 us dollar per day its unbelievable but its work Hope to see you around here more often
      ➨➨➨➨➨➨➨ jℴbs61.ℂℴℳ

  2. justice at its best. No woman is comfortable with product of rape.

  3. Sebastian dlamini

    With a state that does not respect its laws l don’t c them accepting this judgement they wil find ways to sideline this issue…

  4. at last. they should simply adopt or maintain the child. the gvt has ways to do through social welfare

  5. Sounds fair . but its still going to be a constant reminder to this woman of the rape.from this i hope the relavent authorities and roleplayers have come up with ways to prevent this in future.dambudziko haro is vakuru vedu vanotimirira muhurumemde they never learn moyo yavo yakaoma

  6. my buddy’s mom makes $69/hr on the internet. She has been unemployed for 6 months but last month her income was $16623 just working on the internet for a few hours.
    hop over to this site

  7. I will not add inconvinient condour to this outcome but I hope the DNA of all possible suspects has been recorded. Eventually the father must be found and made to regret his actionsl

Comments are closed.