ZESA Victim Fights Mockery

Harare, September 25, 2014 – A man who was offered peanuts by State

power company  ZESA Holdings after being electrocuted and hospitalised

for close to a year due to the parastatal’s negligence is demanding

over  $500 000 in compensation.

Munashe Magwaza was left wheelchair  bound after stepping on ZESA

Holdings  electric cables left naked by negligent  ZESA workers. He

has decided to  approach the High Court to force the  parastatal to

compensate him after  ZESA showed no remorse for its  workers’

actions.

Once employed as a security guard, Magwaza is now on a wheelchair for

life and was dismissed from work after stepping on cables negligently

left naked by ZESA staff on his way from work on 10 August 2006.

ZESA, through its insurers Cell Insurance Company, offered him $11 480

as compensation, money which Magwaza says is peanuts  given his

situation. Left vulnerable and snubbed by ZESA despite several

approaches, Magwaza sought help from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights

(ZLHR), which is pursuing the case to ensure justice is done.

Kennedy Masiye of ZLHR is representing Magwaza.

In papers filed at the High Court recently, Magwaza is demanding $100

000 being damages for severe pain and suffering, $200 000 for

permanent disfigurement and disability, $50 000 for loss of amenities

in life and contumelia, $105 000 for loss of future earnings capacity

and $50 000 for loss of expectation of life.

Masiye said ZESA showed no compassion for Magwaza who was heavily

injured and lost his job as a result of the power firm’s carelessness.

His employer terminated Magwaza’s contract of employment in January

2007 after “taking care” of him for six months while on sick leave on

full and half salary. In terminating Magwaza’s contract, Motox

Enterprises said it needed to find a replacement for his position

because of increased thefts at the work place emanating from his

six-month absence from work.

His lawyer Masiye said all this was weighing heavily on the former

security guard. “Magwaza suffered serious injuries on his body and

these include neurological injuries which resulted in damages to nerve

endings causing the loss of neural control over vital organs namely

his limbs,” said Masiye.

“Because of the permanent damages which include physical debilitations

namely paralysis as well as psychological and neurological effects

caused by the powerful electrical currents travelling through the

body, Magwaza is now wheelchair bound after he lost mobility and use

of his limbs.

“All of this has created substantial financial obligations while

eliminating his ability to work forcing his dismissal from work.

Despite several appeals for assistance to ZESA nothing was forthcoming

from the company until ZLHR lawyers intervened,” he said, adding that

Magwaza was hurt by the “ridiculous offer from ZESA.”

Magwaza is a breadwinner, has a family and a child attending primary

school and has responsibility to look after his parents who reside in

the rural areas.

In court papers, Masiye said ZESA acknowledged liability and on the

8th of October 2012 paid out $11 480 as special damages. But the money

was a mockery, said Masiye.

“The Plaintiff (Magwaza) was hospitalised for nine months at Harare

Central Hospital. Whilst in hospital he was in pain and had to undergo

major surgeries that include skin grafting. Plaintiff has suffered

loss of amenities of life in that he can no longer have the blessing

of any unclouded mind, healthy body, sound limbs and the ability to

conduct unaided basic functions of life such as running, eating and

dressing,” said Masiye.

 

 

The Legal Monitor