Vice-President Kembo Mohadi is still being haunted by the 2008 alleged abductions of opposition activists, with one of the victims, Pieta Kaseke, still pursuing her US$1,2 million compensation claim.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Kaseke, who filed a US$1,2 million claim in July 2009, is still waiting for the determination of her lawsuit which she filed against Mohadi, his then co-Home Affairs minister Giles Mutsekwa, former Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa, former State Security minister Didymus Mutasa, former Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, former Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) director-general Happyton Bonyongwe, Senior Assistant Commissioners Nyathi and Chiobvu and several other senior police officers.
Kaseke was allegedly abducted on October 31, 2008 in Banket during a period several other MDC-T activists were facing “trumped-up” charges of banditry, sabotage and terrorism.
However, soon after being released from detention following a pact between the late former President Robert Mugabe and the late MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai, through a power-sharing agreement, Kaseke petitioned the High Court for compensation and her matter is yet to be finalised.
On July 23, 2019, Kaseke’s lawyers Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni wrote to High Court judge Justice Edith Mushore pursuing the compensation claim.
“We write to advise that the parties have not yet reached a settlement as anticipated. We are advised by the defendant’s (Mohadi and others) legal representatives that the relevant government departments are still in the process of obtaining the necessary approvals in order to finalise the issue,” the lawyers wrote.
“To that end, we kindly request that the matter be set down possibly at the beginning of the next term (end 2019).
That will give the parties more than sufficient time to finalise the negotiations.”
However, at some point towards the end of last year, the matter was set down for hearing, only to be removed from the roll following indications of an out-of-court settlement.
But since then, the matter is still before Justice Mushore and waiting to be set down for hearing.
Kaseke is claiming US$500 000 for unlawful abduction, enforced disappearance, unlawful detention incommunicado, unlawful arrest and unlawful deprivation of liberty.
She is also claiming US$100 000 for assault, US$300 000 for torture, pain, shock, suffering, psychological trauma, contumelia and loss of amenities and US$300 000 for malicious prosecution.
According to court papers, Kaseke was abducted on October 31, 2008 by police officers and instead of being taken back to Banket, she was handed over to CIO agents who subjected her to further unlawful detention and torture.
“Plaintiff was unlawfully detained and thus unlawfully deprived of her liberty by defendants jointly or one or more of them acting in complicity to one another from October 31, 2008 to December 22, 2008 when defendants then conspired as they had been doing all along to detain plaintiff officially at a police station,” Kaseke said.
She later appeared in court charged alongside Concelia Chinanzvavana, Fidelis Chinanzvavana, Fidelis Chiramba, Violet Mupfuranhewe, Colin Mutemagawu, Manuel Chinanzvavana, Audrice Mbudzana, Simbarashe Claudious Muzembe and Rodrick Takawira.
Similar cases happened in Gwanda South where Shepherd Phidah’s homestead was burnt down by suspected ZANU PF supporters. Phidah’s whereabouts are unknown to date.