Family demands $900k for anti-govt protester’s death

Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga


A MARONDERA woman, Erenia Guwa, whose husband was fatally shot by members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) during the January 2019 demonstration, has approached the High Court, demanding compensation amounting to over $900 000.

The protests against a 150% fuel price hike and the deteriorating economic situation in the country were organised by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU).

Guwa is one of the more than 40 individuals who, on Friday last week, filed summons against the ZRP and the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA), claiming more than
$14 million against the country’s security forces for the assaults and killings.

In her declaration through her lawyers, Guwa said she is claiming damages for the death of her husband, Solomon Nyaruwa, who was shot and killed on January 15,

“The plaintiff (Erenia Guwa)’s claim is for damages arising as a result of the unlawful shooting and killing of plaintiff’s husband (Solomon Nyaruwa)
perpetrated by members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) in Marondera,” the lawyers said.

The lawyers further said that on the day in question at about 2pm and at Dombotombo B Centre in Marondera, a group of uniformed police officers, acting in
concert with one another, unlawfully shot and killed Nyaruwa.

“The actions of the ZRP officers were unlawful, unjustified and wrongful. The deceased was a general dealer and a bread winner to plaintiff and her two minor
children. The deceased owed a legal duty of support to his immediate family during his lifetime,” the lawyers said. The lawyers also said as a result of the
unlawful killing, Guwa had suffered grief, emotional distress, incurred funeral expenses and loss of prospective support for herself and her two minor

“At all material times, the members of the ZRP involved in the killing of the plaintiff’s husband were acting within the course and scope of their duties. As
such, the defendants are vicariously liable to their actions,” they said.

“By reason of the death of plaintiff’s husband from the wrongful and unlawful killing, the plaintiff has suffered and will suffer damages in the total sum of
$901 000 arrived at as detailed hereunder; funeral expenses amounting to $1 000, shock, pain and suffering amounting to $300 000 and loss of prospective support in the sum of $600 000.”

The lawyers further added that despite demand, the ZRP and police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga, have failed, refused or neglected to pay leading to the
current lawsuit.

Both police and Matanga are yet to respond.

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