In separate notices of set down send to the abductees’ lawyers and the ministers’ lawyers this week the High Court said Justice Tedious Karwi will preside over the pretrial conference of Audrey Zimbudzana next Thursday.
A week later other High Court Judges will also preside over the pre-trial conferences of Collin Mutemagawu and Violet Mupfuranhewe, the parents of two year old Nigel Mutemagawu who was abducted from Banket together with his parents in 2008 for allegedly plotting to topple President Robert Mugabe’s previous government, a charge they deny. Regis Mujeyi and Mapfumo Garutsa pre-trial conferences will be held a day later on Friday.
The seventeen political and human rights activists are demanding over US$20 million in damages from four government ministers and top security commanders whom they hold responsible for their torture ordeal and abduction.
The activists filed their lawsuit with the High Court last July and are demanding US$1.2 million each for abduction and torture.
The case could encourage hundreds of other Zimbabweans who suffered state sponsored abduction and torture during the past decade of institutionalized anarchy and repression, to seek civil redress in attempts to reduce impunity and contribute towards national healing.