SCORES of Manzou villagers who lost their valuables early this year when their houses were demolished by police to in a bid to push them out to allegedly pave way for First Lady Grace Mugabe’s private wildlife sanctuary in Mazowe are piling pressure for compensation from government.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
The villagers have since filed some notices to sue the police for its role in demolishing their homes.
They are also claiming different amounts of money ranging from $1 000 to about $10 000 as compensation for malicious and unlawful damage to their properties.
In one of the notices seen by NewsDay which was prepared by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights on behalf of one Godfrey Kanyimo, the villagers are also suing for the pain, suffering and nervous shock suffered during the demolitions.
“Our client is suing for compensation of his property that was destroyed by members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police. He is also suing for pain and suffering and nervous shock,” the notice dated April 16 on behalf of Kanyimo read.
It was copied to the Attorney-General’s Office, Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri, officer-in-charge at Mazowe Police Station one Inspector Munetsi and other five police constables.
The letter alleges that over 60 gun-wielding officers instigated the unlawful eviction and the destruction of various properties belonging to the villagers.
Kanyimo alleges he lost his three-bedroomed house, 10 tonnes of maize, one tonne of soya beans, clothing and blankets, among others. The villagers are arguing that police erred by demolishing their houses without a court order.
They are also arguing that they had not committed any offence that warranted such excessive force from the police.
“The country’s Police Services is, in terms of Section 219 of the Constitution, responsible for protecting and securing the lives and property of the people and also to uphold the Constitution. As such, it is unpalatable for law enforcers and custodians of the Constitution to maliciously damage property of innocent civilians,” the notice of intention to sue read.