Supreme Court to hear spike-throwing appeal

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Godwin-Matanga

BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
THE Supreme Court will today preside over a challenge by the Passengers Association of Zimbabwe (PAZ) against a High Court judgment giving the police the right to throw metal spikes at speeding vehicles and smashing windscreens.

High Court judge Justice Owen Tagu on July 1, 2021 dismissed an application filed by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum on behalf of PAZ seeking an order stopping the police from throwing spikes.

The human rights body appealed to the Supreme Court and the matter will be heard today.

PAZ is represented by Wilbert Mandinde, who will be instructed by Darlington Marange.

PAZ, together with private taxi driver Bernard Murizani had dragged police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga, Police Service Commission and Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe to court demanding a ban on the use of spikes and teargas.

They claimed that the conduct of the police was resulting in loss of lives and injuries to innocent commuters.

But Justice Owen Tagu dismissed the application, saying while the application was noble, “the court could not disempower the police from enforcing law and order as there were times when the use of spikes would prove necessary”.

This forced PAZ to lodge an appeal, arguing that Justice Tagu sanctioned unconstitutional conduct.

“The High Court further erred and misdirected itself in finding that illegal conduct of illegal transport operators, colloquially known as mushikashika justifies or necessitates the use of excessive use of force outside the parameters stipulated under section 42 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act,” PAZ argued.

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