MDC youth leader sues for illegal detention

OPPOSITION MDC Alliance youth leader and Masvingo ward 4 councillor, Godfrey Kurauone, has given notice to sue police for $2,4 million in damages following his arrest on trumped-up violence charges.

By Tatenda Chitagu

Kurauone is demanding $500 000 being damages for unlawful and wrongful arrest, $800 000 for unlawful and wrongful detention, another $800 000 for malicious prosecution, and $300 000 for legal expenses.

His lawyer, Martin Mureri, wrote to police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga, Prosecutor-General Kumbirai Hodzi, Attorney-General Prince Machaya, officer-in-charge for Criminal Investigation Department Law and Order in Masvingo and one Constable Muonde, arguing that his arrest was “arbitrary and without just cause”.

“His arrest and prosecution was motivated by malice and improper motives. In the premises, we are instructed to notify you as we hereby do, in line with the relevant statutory provisions, that our client intends to sue you jointly and severally with all police officers and other persons who participated in his wrongful and malicious arrest and prosecution, as well as the prosecutors who acted out of culpable ignorance and led to the prosecution against our client,” the letter
read.

The AG’s Office acknowledged receipt of the letter and said it had taken note of the contents and promised to reply to Kurauone’s lawyer.

“We acknowledge receipt of your letter dated September 21 2020, the contents of which have been noted. Please be advised that the matter is receiving attention and we will revert to you in due course,” said one Magunde, who signed for the director of Civil Division in the AG’s Office.

Kurauone was arrested on July 31 on allegations of criminal nuisance for allegedly circulating a video on social media purportedly inciting for the dethronement of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

He was also facing another charge of endangering public safety by blocking roads and urging citizens to protest against high-level corruption and escalating human rights abuses.
The MDC Alliance councillor was denied bail twice, resulting in him spending 45 days in remand prison.

The youthful politician has since been acquitted of the charge of obstructing or endangering free movement of people, while that of criminal nuisance was withdrawn before plea.

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