TWO ALPHA Media Holdings (AMH) journalists Blessing Mhlanga and Chengeto Chidi have filed a US$50 000 lawsuit against Home Affairs minister Kazambe Kazembe and Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga for unlawful arrest and detention while covering a by-election in Chitungwiza in May this year.
Their lawyer from Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni Legal Practitioners last week submitted a notice of intention to sue in terms of the State Liabilities Act as read with section 70 of the Police Act.
“We write to give you notice of our client’s intention to sue you and various police officers employed by the State for damages arising from unlawful arrest, wrongful detention, malicious prosecution, loss of income and self-development opportunities and expenses incurred arising out of the arrest and prosecution including but not limited to medical expenses, travelling expenses, and legal expenses,” the lawyers wrote.
Police’s legal services director, one Inspector T Gotora acknowledged receipt of notice to sue.
“Investigations into the allegations raised therein are being instituted. The Civil Division of the Attorney-General’s office will communicate our attitude towards your notice shortly,” Gotora said in his response on Monday.
Mhlanga and Chidi were taken to court and acquitted on charges of contravening section 25(a) of the Electoral Act which prohibits taking of photographs at a polling station.
Allegations were that on May 7, Mhlanga and Chidi used mobile phones and a canon camera to take photographs and recorded a video near the ward 7 polling station tent in Zengeza West without permission from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).
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