Brutality backfires as chief,residents sue police and soldiers for assault during national lockdown period

A ZIMBABWEAN traditional leader is among some people who are suing
police officers and soldiers for violation of their rights after they
were brutalised by the law enforcement agents during the national
lockdown period.

Chief Trymore Nhari of Gweru on Monday 11 May 2020 served a notice of
intention to sue for payment of damages on Thandabantu Godwin Matanga, the
Commissioner-General of Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and Home
Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe, wherein he
recounted his ordeal at the hands of some ZRP members, who assaulted
him twice in one day together with his acquaintance Shepard Moyo on 30
April 2020 while they were in the central business district of Gweru
in Midlands province.

In the notice of intention to sue, which was prepared by Nosimilo
Chanayiwa of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), Nhari demanded
to be paid ZWL$300 000 in damages after ZRP officers damaged his
Chief’s badge, his three mobile phone handsets, his wrist watch and a
laptop and also broke his left arm.

In Bulawayo, Weston Chadomba is demanding payment of ZWL$300 000 as
compensation for the unlawful conduct of a ZRP member and a Zimbabwe
National Army (ZNA) officer, who assaulted him on 1 May 2020 in Njube
high-density suburb as he was coming from his workplace and driving
his vehicle to his residence following a misunderstanding with the law
enforcement agents, who were controlling a truck selling maize meal
and at the same time blocking the road.

Chadomba, who is represented by Jabulani Mhlanga of ZLHR, and has
listed Matanga, Kazembe, Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister
Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri and Phillip Valerio Sibanda, the Commander of
ZNA as respondents, said the assault by the ZRP member and ZNA officer
caused him to suffer physical and emotional pain including financial
loss in paying for medical bills for treatment at Mpilo Hospital.

In another case, Sthukani Ncube, who resides in Lobengula high-density
suburb is suing Matanga and Kazembe for ZWL$250 000 after she was
severely assaulted by eight ZRP members and sustained serious injuries
with bruises all over her body and a dislocated left shoulder.

Ncube, who is represented by Mhlanga of ZLHR, said the compensation is
for the pain and suffering, loss of income and medical expenses, which
she endured and incurred when she was assaulted by the law enforcement
agents who used truncheons while at her residence on 25 April 2020.