from MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News) – THE Zimbabwean High Court has ordered the government to pay damages totaling US$12 000 (US$181 515) to a woman brutalised by police after her arrest for allegedly murdering an officer ten years ago.
This is the latest in a series of bunglings by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to cost the cash-strapped government.
The law enforcers arrested opposition supporter, Linda Musiyamhanje, in 2011 for alleged involvement in the murder of an Inspector Petros Mutedza.
The woman was arrested alongside 28 other residents from the capital, Harare.
She spent 11 months in prison before Justice Chinembiri Bhunu acquitted her.
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights sued on behalf of Musiyamhanje, a supporter of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
In summons filed at the High Court, Musiyamhanje argued that upon arrest, she was detained in cruel and inhuman conditions and was assaulted by police officers who did not verify her alibi.
High Court Judge Justice Jacob Manzunzu has ordered Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister, Kazembe Kazembe and Commissioner-General of ZRP, Godwin Matanga to pay Musiyamhanje compensation for the violation of her fundamental rights.
The Zimbabwean government has incessantly been forced to pay compensation to victims brutalized by police and other state agents.
Most victims are opposition supporters.
Most prominently, government was in 2018 forced to compensate human rights activist, Jestina Mukoko, for $150 000 after she was kidnapped by state agents and tortured for weeks.
– CAJ News