Kazembe, Matanga Fail To Pay $3.7 Million To Epworth Man Shot By Cops In 2019
Human rights lawyers have filed an application at the Harare High Court seeking an order to get Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe and Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga to be jailed 30 days for willfully reneging on the order to compensate Pardon Chitongo, a victim of police brutality.
Chitongo was shot and permanently disabled by anti-riot police officers during the January 2019 anti-government protests as he stood outside his uncle’s home in Epworth.
In 2022, Kazembe and Matanga were ordered to pay Chitongo ZWL$3.7 million but have not done so.
Now wheelchair-bound, Chitongo is relying on expensive painkillers to ease pain in his body.
He is being represented by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)’s Paidamoyo Saurombe and Fiona Iliff. ZLHR said:
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Kazembe and Godwin Matanga were on 3 August 2022 ordered by High Court Judge Justice Gladys Mhuri to pay ZW$3,7 million to Chitongo as damages after he was shot by ZRP officers on 14 January 2019.
Chitongo was shot by ZRP officers while he was standing outside his uncle’s house when police officers recklessly and indiscriminately started shooting towards him, ostensibly to target some protestors during an anti-government demonstration.
He had not been protesting, was simply caught in the crossfire and was hit by a bullet that pierced through his arm, penetrated through his body, came out on the other side of his body, and hit the other arm.
As a result of the grave nature of his injuries, Chitongo had to undergo an operation to remove one of his kidneys after he suffered permanent damage to his spinal cord.
The two have reneged on paying damages and this forced Chitongo to file an application seeking an order to hold the duo to be in contempt of court and that they are sentenced to 30 days in prison for defaulting on paying the judgment debt.
Riots broke out across the country in January 2019 as citizens protested against a fuel price hike and general hardships.
Security services responded with brute force, with 12 people reportedly killed while hundreds were tortured and injured. | NewZimbabwe.com