Police chief pays for ZRP misdemeanors

A HARARE Magistrate has ordered Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP)
Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga to pay more than RTGS$50 000 to a
Mazowe man as compensation for damages to his vehicle, which was burnt
to ashes in 2019 by some law enforcement agents, who were evicting
illegal miners at Jumbo Mine in Mazowe, in Mashonaland Central
province.

Philemon Jijita, who runs a tuckshop at Masasa Farm in Mazowe sued
Matanga and Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe
Kazembe in December 2019 for payment of damages to his property after
some ZRP members burnt down his immobile Nissan Hi-Rider vehicle in
May 2019, which was parked at the farm as it had some flat tyres.

Jijita’s vehicle caught fire when ZRP members burnt some housing
structures, cabins and some grass structures that were close to his
car.

His pleas to restrain the police officers fell on deaf ears as the law
enforcement agents ordered him to move away.

With the assistance of Tinashe Chinopfukutwa of Zimbabwe Lawyers for
Human Rights, Jijita sued Matanga and Kazembe demanding compensation
for the damage caused to his vehicle.

During trial before Magistrate Dhliwayo, Chinopfukutwa argued that
Jijita suffered severe shock and trauma at witnessing his vehicle
being wantonly burnt down by ZRP officers without reasonable
justification.

This resulted in Magistrate Dhliwayo ordering Matanga and Kazembe to
pay RTGS$56 640 as compensation for special damages to Jijita’s
property.