BULAWAYO High Court judge Justice Francis Bere is on Friday expected to hand down judgment in a case where transgender activist, Ricky Eugene Nathanson, is demanding $10,8 million compensation for unlawful arrest for entering a ladies’ toilet.
BY SILAS NKALA
Nathanson, who prefers to be referred to as a woman, has sued Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo and a Zanu PF activist, Farai Mteliso, following his arrest and detention for allegedly using a ladies’ toilet at a Bulawayo hotel in 2014.
Through his lawyer, Perpetua Dube, Nathanson claims the arrest was a breach of his rights and wants each of the respondents to pay $2,7 million as damages. Mteliso is the one who reported her to the police, leading to her arrest.
Last Wednesday, his witness, Philiph Francis Moses, a psychologist at the Counselling Services Unit in Harare, told the court that Nathanson was experiencing post-traumatic disorder following the incident.
On his arrest, Nathanson was charged, but was subsequently acquitted by Bulawayo magistrate, Abednico Ndebele, on charges of criminal nuisance after the court ruled that prosecutors had failed to prove their case.
Nathanson, who runs a modelling agency in the city, said, in her summons: “On January 16, 2014, I was publicly arrested by six police officers in riot gear and removed from the bar and taken to Bulawayo Central Police Station. The arrest was at the instigation of Mteliso, who acted without just, reasonable or probable cause, and maliciously.”
According to police papers, verification of her gender at the police station and at the two hospitals, proved that Nathanson is a male.