Byo woman sues police for $10 000


A BULAWAYO woman who was shot in the foot by a police officer pursuing a fleeing commuter omnibus, is demanding $10 000 compensation from the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and the kombi driver as compensation.

The woman, Constance Tshuma, suffered serious damage when a bullet ripped through her foot, leaving a gaping hole.

Tshuma, who is represented by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) lawyer Lizwe Jamela, filed the summons at the Plumtree Magistrate’s Court on April 21 this year.

Jamela said repeated efforts to get the name of the police officer responsible for the shooting were not successful as police officers in the border town were not willing to nail their colleague.

“We asked for the name of the police officer responsible, but it appeared the police were not forth coming hence we opted to sue the officer-in-charge Plumtree and the driver of the kombi,” he said.

Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi
Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi

The woman is suing the driver Mbonisi Mpofu, officer-in-charge Plumtree Police Station, Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri and Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi.

“You are hereby summoned that you do within 14 days after the service of this summons upon you enter or cause to be entered with the clerk of court and also the plaintiff’s legal practitioner an appearance to defend to answer the claim of the plaintiff herein for $10 000 and costs particulars whereof are attached,” reads the summons.

Tshuma broke down the demands as $1 174 for general damages, $5 000 for pain suffered, $2 000 for disfigurement of her foot and $1 826 for future medical costs and interest on the total amount at the prescribed rate from date of issue of summons to date of full and final payment.

The accident occurred on October 23 last year when Tshuma was in a commuter omnibus travelling from Francistown to Bulawayo.

She claims that when they arrived in Plumtree, they were stopped at a roadblock and ordered to disembark with their luggage. One of the police officers got onto the kombi and discovered shoes stashed under a seat.

After no one claimed ownership of the shoes, police accused the kombi driver of smuggling and ordered him to drive back to Plumtree Police Station.

When the passengers got in, Mpofu allegedly sped off towards Bulawayo with a police vehicle in pursuit.

A few minutes later, police caught up with the kombi and blocked its way before one of the officers fired and injured Tshuma.

She was admitted at United Bulawayo Hospitals for six weeks and is still nursing her injuries.

Mpofu has since been convicted and sentenced for defying police orders.

Jamela said the police were yet to respond to the summons.