BY SILAS NKALA
A FORMER police officer, who was arrested after testifying against fellow cops, has sued Home Affairs minister Cain Mathema and Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga for contempt of court after they allegedly defied an order compelling the police to pay him damages of $56 000 for wrongful arrest.
Farayi Bazil Nyapokoto in June 11, 2011 obtained an order against police officers who wrongfully arrested him after he testified against fellow cops at an inquest held at Tredgold Magistrates’ Courts in Bulawayo.
Nyapokoto, however, remained in the police force, residing at Ross Camp.
Former Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri and ex-Home Affairs minister Obert Mpofu were respondents.
Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Lawrence Kamocha, in a default judgment, awarded Nyapokoto $50 000 as damages and a further $6 400 in legal costs.
Through his lawyers, Tanaka Law Chambers, Nyapokoto wrote to Matanga on October 29 last year, reminding him of the court order.
Following Matanga’s failure to comply with the court order, Nyapokoto on Tuesday, through his lawyers, filed a contempt of court lawsuit at the Bulawayo High Court.
He cited Mathema, Matanga, a Superintendent Moyo, Officer Commanding Camps Assistant Commissioner Mavis Nkomo, Superintendent Jefias Sibanda, Detective Assistant Inspector
Sibanda, Detective Constable Mugabe, and Detective Constable Shoko as the respondents.
In his founding affidavit, Nyapokoto said sometime in March 2011, he sued the police, seeking US$443 600 for pain, shock and suffering, contumelia that he suffered as a result of the malicious arrest, detention and humiliation.
He also demanded interest on the sum at a prescribed rate of interest from date of summons to date of full payment and costs of suit.
“Applicant diligently prosecuted the matter and on July 16, 2011, the court handed down judgment in favour of applicant, ordering payment of
US$6 400 being costs plaintiff incurred in trying to find justice in the matter, payment of US$50 000 being general damages for pain, shock, suffering and contumelia, depreciation of liberty, malicious arrest, detention and prosecution and unlawful eviction, interests at the prescribed rate from date of issue of summons to date of full
payment and costs of suit,” Nyapokoto submitted.
“The respondents have to date not complied with the above judgment. On the contrary, they have launched numerous applications, which have been dismissed with costs, in desperate but futile bid to evade fulfilment of the judgment.”
He said it was not possible that for the past eight years, the respondents had failed to raise the money.
“This is, therefore, an application for an order declaring these respondents to be in contempt of court and that they be logged in the nearest prison for period not exceeding 90 days or until such a time they purge their contempt. I have made out a good case for the sought ,” he submitted.
The respondents are yet to file their opposition papers.