Dhlamini sues ministers, police chief and CIO

tsvangi_cabinetHARARE - A pre-trial conference in which Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's security aide is suing two cabinet ministers and state security agents has been indefinitely postponed. (Pictured: Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai)

Chris Dhlamini, director of security in the MDC, approached the High Court in July last year demanding damages for unlawful abduction, enforced disappearance, unlawful detention incommunicado, unlawful arrest and unlawful deprivation of liberty; assault; torture, pain, shock, suffering and psychological trauma, contumelia and loss of amenities of life; and for malicious prosecution.

The High Court set down the matter for Monday, and conducted a pre-trial conference to deal with the civil suit, before adjourning it indefinitely.

High Court judge, Justice Tedius Karwi, heard the case briefly on Monday in his chambers, Dhlamini’s lawyer Alec Muchadehama said.

Dhlamini was among a group of MDC activists who were abducted and disappeared for several weeks before they turned up in various police stations just before Christmas.

Seven MDC members who were abducted in the same swoops by intelligence operatives are still missing. Upon his release into police custody last December, Dhlamini was detained further at the notorious Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison before being released on bail for medical reasons.

Chikurubi, where Dhlamini was detained, is notorious for its atrocious conditions even during Zimbabwe’s better days. Now, the prison is said to be uninhabitable, with government short of cash to buy food, uniforms and other basic requirements for prisoners.

From prison, Dhlamini had to be referred to hospital to have his ear reattached after long periods of assault and torture in detention. Dhlamini, who has also told various courts he was tortured in custody, became critically ill in Chikurubi. Prison authorities had to transfer him to a private clinic, under heavy guard, after human rights lawyers warned he could die in custody.

Dhlamini is demanding the compensation from the co-Ministers of Home Affairs, Kembo Mohadi and Giles Mutsekwa, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, then Security Minister Didymus Mutasa, Police Commissioner- General Augustine Chihuri, Prisons Commissioner Paradzai Zimondi, and Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) Director-General Happyton Bonyongwe.

Also sued are police Senior Assistant Commissioner Nyathi, Chief Superintendent Crispen Makendenge, Detective Chief Inspector Mpofu, Chief Superintendent Peter Magwenzi, Senior Assistant Commissioner Chiobvu of the Prison Services, Detective Chief Inspector Elliot Muchada, Superintendent Josh Shasha Tenderere, Assistant Inspector Mudandira, Superintendent Regis Takaitei Chitekwe, Detective Assistant Inspector Maria Phiri, Detective Inspector Chibaya, Detective Muuya and Assistant Director of the External Branch of the CIO, Asher Walter Tapfumaneyi, according to court documents.

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