HomeNewsCourt orders cop, govt to compensate dog bite victim

Court orders cop, govt to compensate dog bite victim

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By SILAS NKALA

A POLICE officer and his bosses have been ordered by the court to pay $150 000 compensation to a 40-year-old Rusape man for damages suffered after he was mauled by a dog set on him by the law enforcement agents.

Rusape magistrate Rufaro Mangwiro ordered Constable Zwelibanzi Masuko, Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga and Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe to compensate Unity Saunyama, a resident of Rusape in Manicaland province after he sued them for damages arising from injuries he sustained after being attacked by a police dog.

Saunyama was represented by Peggy Tavagadza of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights .

During trial, Tavagadza told the court that Masuko approached Saunyama at a beerhall in Rusape on August 29, 2019 and made an inquiry about his personal details.

The police officer dragged Saunyama out of the beerhall, accusing him of being in possession of marijuana.

Masuko set a police dog on the complainant and he sustained injuries which included two lacerations on the right ankle and a deep wound on his right thigh as a result of the dog bites.

Tavagadza said Masuko then went on to drag Saunyama around the central business district to show the public what police officers were capable of doing.

People pleaded with the cop to take Saunyama to hospital as he was badly injured and needed medical attention, but their pleas fell on deaf ears.

During trial, Masuko, Matanga and Kazembe did not dispute that Saunyama suffered injuries, which entitled him to make a claim against them, but argued that the sum was excessive and made a counter offer of $10 000.

The court ruled that Saunyama suffered undue harm and deserved to be paid $150 000 as compensation.

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