BY CHARLES LAITON
Police Commissioner-General, Godwin Matanga and Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe have been slapped with a $783 100 lawsuit by a Chitungwiza man who was shot and injured by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers while trying to save his uncle who was being attacked by the law enforcers.
The shooting victim, Onward Takunda Machangara, issued summons against Matanga, Kazembe and Constables Tinashe Tawodzera, Watts Nhema and Blessing Afiki all stationed at Makoni Police Station.
In his declaration filed alongside the summons, through his lawyers from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human rights (ZLHR), Machangara said fragments from the bullet fired by the police officers were still stuck in his ankle nine months after the incident which occurred on May 21, 2019.
Relating the events of the day, Machangara said he had paid a visit to his relative at Makoni shopping centre when he saw Constable Afiki beating up his uncle, Spencer Machangara.
Machangara said he grabbed Afiki in a bid to rescue his uncle but was unaware that Afiki was a police officer as he was in civilian clothes. At that moment, he said Tawodzera disembarked from his vehicle and shot him on his leg.
“The bullet went through one side of the plaintiff’s (Machangara) leg and out the other side. The plaintiff collapsed to the ground before the other officers cited as respondents (Tawodzera, Nhema and Afiki) started assaulting him by kicking him in the stomach,” Machangara said.
Later, he said, he was taken to Makoni Police Station where upon arrival he was detained and charged with defeating the course of justice, adding the same charge was also preferred against his relatives who had followed him to the police station.
However, when the matter was tried, Machangara said he was found not guilty and acquitted on September 30 last year.
“The plaintiff sustained severe pain, shock and humiliation as a result of his ill-treatment at the hands of the police officers in public as if he was a criminal and the subsequent trial. He continues to suffer from trauma, shock and anxiety,” his lawyers said.
“He has sustained permanent injury and will not regain full use of his leg. He still has bullet fragments in his leg causing continuous pain. He requires surgery to remove the fragments and afterwards will require rehabilitation treatment and physiotherapy.”
In his affidavit, Machangara said prior to the incident, he was working for Levyhika Enterprises in Johannesburg, South Africa, as a boilermaker where he was earning R7 000 per week but had not been able to return to work since June last year. The cited respondents are yet to respond to the lawsuit.