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claims $80b from police, parent ministry
Marwizi, The Standard (Zimbabwe)
October 28, 2007
Mtetwa, the President of the Law Society of Zimbabwe, has sued the
police and the Ministry of Home Affairs for the beatings she endured
in May at the hands of gun-toting and truncheon-wielding officers.
Her lawyer, Harrison
Nkomo of Mtetwa & Nyambirai, last week lodged an $80 billion
lawsuit against Superintendent Tendere of Harare Central Police
Station, the Commissioner of Police and the Minister of Home Affairs.
Tendere is being sued
in his individual capacity. Court documents show that he was in
charge of police when lawyers intended to register their concerns
over the arrest of human rights lawyers Alec Muchadehama and Andrew
Makoni in Harare at the High Court on 8 May.
Tendere is said to have
ordered the lawyers to disperse before instructing police under
his control to assault Mtetwa and the other lawyers.
Mtetwa, a human rights
lawyer, was shoved into the back of a police truck together with
three other lawyers, Chris Mhike, Colin Kahuni and Terence Fitzpatrick.
The lawyers were dumped in a bushy area in Eastlea where Mtetwa
and her colleagues were ordered to "lie prone on the ground
whilst the said members of the ZRP violently assaulted her on the
back, shoulders and buttocks.
"As a direct result
of the assault, the Plaintiff sustained serious injuries on her
shoulders, back and buttocks in respect of which she is claiming
damages," reads the summons sent to the defendants.
Nkomo noted that as a
result of the defendants' unlawful action, Mtetwa needed to be compensated:
dollars being damages for unlawful arrest, pain and suffering, contumelia
and medical expenses being delictual damages suffered by the Plaintiff
after an unlawful assault perpetrated upon her human person by uniformed
members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police at Harare on the 8th May
2007, and 2nd and 3rd defendants are vicariously liable for the
It was not clear if the
defendants had filed opposing papers by the time of going to press.
Meanwhile, the High Court
on Friday overturned a ban and restrictions imposed by police on
a birthday party for St Mary's legislator Job Sikhala.
Sikhala was forced to
approach the High Court for relief on Thursday after a Chief Superintendent
T A Chagwedera, the Officer Commanding Chitungwiza, issued a restrictive
order for the celebrations to be held in the constituency.
In the order Chagwedera
said the "celebrations should not be converted into a political
meeting" and that they "should be held in one day and
not two days as indicated".
Another condition was
that Sikhala should "co-operate with government security agents,
uniformed and non-uniformed and furnish them with whatever they
may wish to know regarding the proceedings of the celebrations".
The police chief also
notified Sikhala that he could not hold the celebrations at Chaminuka
grounds today for the reasons that police were committed elsewhere
and therefore could not provide officers who could monitor it.
Sikhala's intention was
to hold a prayer meeting at Jabula church yesterday and then an
open party today at Chaminuka grounds.
In his application Sikhala,
who was represented by Nkomo, said it was his "constitutional
right to assemble, associate and express myself, and so is the right
of my guests". He also said police had no authority to ban
birthday parties without any justification.
Sikhala said if the ban
was not reversed he would also suffer financial losses. He provided
the court with receipts of a band that he had paid $150 million
to perform and the sound system that cost $40 million. He said he
also bought food for the guests. He said other guests were on their
way from Britain and it would not be fair to cancel the event.
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