THE Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) yesterday served the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) with a notice of intention to sue the force on behalf of four victims of an accident that happened after an overzealous cop traffic cop threw spikes in front of a moving commuter omnibus along Old Khami Road in Bulawayo on March 12.
The notice of intent was served more than 14 days after ZLHR gave the ZRP an ultimatum to deal with the damages of four passengers who were seriously injured as a result of the accident allegedly caused by the police.
The ZLHR petitioned the police to compensate the four accident victims — Ntandoyenkosi Nkomo, Nokuthula Mabhena, Esnath Phiri and Emmaculate Ndlovu — as well as footing their medical bills or face a lawsuit.
Nkomo, Mabhena, Phiri and Ndlovu were admitted at Mpilo Central Hospital’s Ward C1 in serious condition and incurred substantial expenses which ZLHR is still compiling.
The four were discharged after about a month in hospital.
The ZLHR lawyer handling the case, Lizwe Jamela, confirmed that they had now served Bulawayo police with a notice to sue over the accident.
The notice dated May 14 is addressed to ZRP Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri.
“We act and are instructed by victims of the traffic accident that occurred on March 12, 2014 along Bulawayo’s Khami Road. Your officers acted in gross negligence in throwing spikes in front of a moving commuter omnibus full of passengers,” the notice read.
“In as much as we understand the law enforcement mandate of your officers, we believe that your officers acted in a very unreasonable way under the circumstances, as there are several ways in which the driver would have been pursued or apprehended without endangering the safety and lives of the innocent passengers.
“Our clients suffered varied degrees of injuries and were admitted at Mpilo Hospital for more than two weeks.
“This exposed them to huge medical bills in addition to pain and suffering they went through and continued to go through as a result of the accident which we believe could have been avoided had your officers acted reasonably and responsibly.
“We thus are of the view that you should take responsibility for the actions of your officers.”
Jamela said the notice was served to Bulawayo police yesterday.
“We have since served them and soon we will be filing the lawsuit papers at the courts,” Jamela said.
The driver of the kombi, Nqobile Moyo (23) who was being charged with reckless driving, operating off route, driving without a defensive certificate, driving a commuter omnibus while under the age of 25 and driving a public service vehicle without medical endorsement was placed off remand last week on Thursday after the investigating officers continuously skipped court.