Negligent ZRP pays the price for tear-gassing woman

ZIMBABWE Republic Police (ZRP) has paid more than ZWL140 000 as compensation to a Harare woman who was tear-gassed by some law enforcement agents three years ago.

Police patrol in Harare, Zimbabwe, January 20, 2019. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

Fifty eight year-old Mavis Muzari was left nursing injuries and
hospitalised at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals after four slipshod
ZRP officers indiscriminately threw a teargas canister inside a
commuter omnibus which landed on her lap.

As a result of the negligent police conduct, Muzari was left bleeding
from her nose, suffered high blood pressure, sustained serious injury
to her foot including some bruises and felt pain all over her body.

This compelled her to engage Tinashe Chinopfukutwa of Zimbabwe Lawyers
for Human Rights in 2019 to sue ZRP Commissioner-General Godwin
Matanga and Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Hon. Kazembe
Kazembe for damages amounting to ZWL142 170 for violation of her
fundamental rights including loss of income, pain and suffering,
embarrassment, humiliation and future medical expenses.

Since 2019, ZRP and Hon. Kazembe had vacillated to compensate Muzari
and in 2021 she filed an application at the High Court seeking an
order for contempt of court against Hon. Kazembe and Matanga and
asking them to comply with the Harare Magistrate Court’s decision
compelling them to pay a judgment debt of ZWL142 170.

Now, Matanga and Hon. Kazembe have evaded serving jail time after the
law enforcement agency notified Chinopfukutwa and provided proof of
payment indicating that it had settled Muzari’s judgment debt.

Muzari is the latest person among dozens of people who in recent years
have won compensation from ZRP after suing for damages arising from
the violation of their rights as a result of the wayward conduct of
some police officers in the execution of their law enforcement duties.

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