Back to Index
wins case for slain hubby
October 27, 2006
IN a major ruling highlighting the
wanton violation of human rights by Zimbabwe’s security forces,
High Court judge Francis Bere recently ordered the police commissioner,
commander of the defence forces and the Minister of Defence to pay
$2 001 375 to Joice Mwandimuka whose husband was shot dead at Ziscosteel
during a demonstration five years ago.
The deceased, Samuel Masiyatsva, died
after the police and army opened fire on about 4 000 protesting
workers at the steelmaker.
Masiyatsva’s widow mounted the action
against the state to recover damages for loss of support to herself
and her children. Justice Bere said the police and army had used
"The court is more than satisfied that
the joint operation of the defendants on the 8th day of August 2001
was an unwarranted use of excessive force in the joint operation
which cost the deceased’s life and deprived plaintiff of support
from the deceased."
Congress of Trade Unions leaders, some still swathed in bandages
from alleged police and army assaults last month, at a press briefing
on Wednesday accused the government of systematic violence and intimidation
against labour organisations. The ZCTU, which released the court
ruling at the briefing, said the police and army lied about their
action against strikers at Zisco in which three strikers died in
gunfire and 22 were injured.
The Defence ministry and police officers
claimed the strikers were victims of accidental fire in an incident
at the state Iron and Steel Co as police and soldiers shot into
the air with automatic rifles to disperse 4 000 protesting strikers.
But evidence accepted by the Harare
High Court rejected state claims that the strikers tried to disarm
police and troops. It said the strikers were "seated and unarmed"
and did nothing to provoke security authorities.
"Riot police officers started firing
teargas all over the place and the workers started running away
and as they did so the soldiers were indiscriminately assaulting
people and randomly firing their guns," the High Court ruling said.
— AP/Staff Writer.
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.