BY CHARLES LAITON
Three MDC legislators have approached the Civil Court demanding $27 000 from government as compensation for violation of their fundamental rights by police officers who assaulted them in Parliament in November 2018.
Lynette Karenyi (Proportional Representation), Thabitha Khumalo (PR) and Amos Chibaya, who represents Mkoba constituency, claim they were manhandled and assaulted by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers who invaded Parliament to eject them, following an instruction by Speaker of Parliament Advocate Jacob Mudenda.
The trio was accused of having refused to stand to attention when Zanu PF secretary, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, entered Parliament for the 2019 national budget presentation. They were protesting against his claim to victory in the July 2018 harmonised elections.
In summons filed by the legislators’ lawyer, Tinomuda Shoko, of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZHLR), the lawmakers cited ZRP Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga and Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage minister Cain Mathema as respondents.
In their individual declarations, the legislators said some members of the ZRP physically manhandled them using fists and open hands and during the commotion their clothes were torn.
In his submissions, Shoko said “the assault of the legislators amounted to violations of their constitutional rights to be treated humanely, with respect, with dignity, with integrity and not to be subjected to physical or psychological torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment guaranteed in sections 50, 51, 52 and 53 of the Constitution”.
Karenyi, who fell down as she was forcefully grabbed by three police officers, said she suffered injuries on her right arm as a result of the assault for which she is now demanding compensation in the sum of $9 000 to cater for the shock, pain, suffering and past and future medical expenses.
Chibaya said he is demanding $9 000 being damages for pain, suffering and medical bills he incurred for treatment, while Khumalo, who is asthmatic and lost her breath during the scuffle, said she is also claiming $9 000 for shock, pain and suffering and for past and future medical expenses. The matter is pending.