Timba was picked up on Friday June 24, from his office in Harare and detained over the weekend for allegedly calling President Robert Mugabe a liar.
The minister had issued statements rebutting Mugabe’s claims that a special Southern African Development Community (Sadc) had thrown out an adverse report on Zimbabwe tabled at another summit in Livingstone, Zambia, in March.
He was released on June 26 after High Court judge, Joseph Musakwa, ruled that his detention was illegal.
Timba is also suing detectives Eliot Muchada and a Mukwaira from the Harare Central Police Station’s Law and Order section who arrested him.
“For his unlawful arrest and detention, our client claims a total amount of US$250 000 in damages against the individual officers Muchada and Mukawaira personally and against the other defendants jointly and severally,” reads part of the damages claim by Timba’s lawyers, Dube, Manikai & Hwacha, dated August 5.
The lawyers said the damages, “though modest”, were aggravated by the fact that Muchada and Mukwaira’s conduct was “deliberately cruel and inhuman.”
“Our client was deliberately detained at the worst possible facility, at Matapi Police Station, a facility already condemned by the Supreme Court as unfit for human beings,” the lawyer said.
Timba was reportedly denied access to family, visitors and legal representation during his detention.
“Our client was deliberately starved throughout the detention,” the lawyers said. “Such and other sanctioned and intentionally cruel and inhuman conduct on the part of the arresting/detaining details aggravates damages and violates local and international human rights groups.”
The lawyers said the detention was “both malicious and unlawful because there was neither a basis at all, nor a reasonable suspicion that he had committed any criminal offence.”
They said the arrest or kidnap of the minister also flew in the face of a Sadc resolution at the Livingstone summit calling for an end to politically motivated arrests.
Chihuri, Muchada and Mukwaira were given 14 days to respond or face legal action.