HOME Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi has been served with a letter of intention to sue the police in relation to the unlawful arrest and assault of journalist Angela Jimu.
by FELUNA NLEYA
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), who are representing Jimu in the matter, said their client was suing the police for unlawful arrest and detention.
“Our client, a journalist by profession practicing with The Zimbabwe Mail newspaper, is suing for damages for unlawful detention, assault, pain, suffering and shock against the police in the sum to be commuted in due course and to be furnished on the summons commencing action,” the ZLHR letter read.
Jimu was arrested and detained by police on August 18 last year while she was covering a demonstration by MDC-T youths along Kwame Nkrumah Avenue.
Police officers were allegedly assaulting a young man before they pounced on Jimu.
“Our client showed them her Press card and identified herself as a journalist just doing her job, but one of them remarked ‘this is not your workplace’,” the letter added.
“They began to assault her with truncheons all over the body and giving her conflicting orders. One of them called Constable Matsikidze instructed her to delete the pictures and just when she was about to, he struck her hand with a baton stick. Her Press card was taken off its lanyard and one officer said he didn’t care that the client was a journalist.”
ZHLR said Jimu was force-marched towards the police vehicle while being assaulted with baton sticks and was denied a phone call.
She was threatened with further assault if she attempted to phone before Constable Matsikidze confiscated her phone.
“She spent several hours detained at the police station and despite several requests to be assisted with changing her clothes as she had messed them during the assault, no one attended to her at that time,” ZHLR said.
“Our client had not committed an offence which warranted such inhumane and degrading treatment. An arrest and such wanton use of excessive force were not justified. It is trite that in terms of the Constitution, no person may be subjected to physical or psychological torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”