HOME Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi and Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri were yesterday ordered to pay damages amounting to $3 500 to a Harare woman who was savagely assaulted by police without provocation in 2008.
SENIOR COURT REPORTER
The matter was heard before High Court judge Justice Lavender Makoni, who issued an order in default, after the two top government officials Mohadi and Chihuri failed to appear in court.
The victorious woman, Fatima Manhando, was represented by Harare lawyers Tafadzwa Christmas and Kenius Shonhai, who successfully applied for the default judgment.
“The respondents (Home Affairs minister and Police Commissioner-General) shall pay to the applicant (Manhando) the total sum of $3 500 together with interest at the prescribed rate from the date of summons to date of final and full payment,” part of the court order reads.
According to Manhando’s affidavit, the matter was initially set down for a pre-trial conference in May 2010, but Mohadi and Chihuri again defaulted, prompting her legal practitioners to apply for leave to proceed by way of a default judgment application.
The woman said she was driven into filing damages claim against Mohadi and Chihuri following her unwarranted attacks by the members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police sometime in October 2008.
Manhando said on the day in question, she was walking along Mbuya Nehanda Street in Harare when suddenly she was intercepted by the police officers whom she could not identify by names.
“The police, without provocation, started assaulting me with batons several times indiscriminately all over the body causing injuries,” she said.
“As a result I sustained numerous injuries all over my body and suffered excruciating pain.”
She told the court she deserved the claimed damages as the attack on her was unprovoked and unjustified.