‘Top cop waiting for Gvt to pay police brutally victim’

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ZIMBABWE Republic Police (ZRP) Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga is feeling the heat over payment of damages awarded to people who fall victim to police brutality.

Matanga recently said this in his response to an application seeking his imprisonment for contempt of court filed by Loveness Chiriseri, a Chitungwiza resident after he had failed to pay her compensation as ordered by High Court Judge Justice Edith Mushore in July 2020.

He argued that he had taken the legal steps necessary to trigger the complainant’s payment in compliance with the court order.

In letters accompanying his notice of opposition to the application Matanga disclosed that he had instructed his lawyers to request Treasury concurrence from the Home Affairs ministry, to pay Chiriseri.

According to Matanga, he was waiting for Treasury Concurrence from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, to pay Chiriseri US$16 788 in damages.
She was assisted by Fiona Iliff of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights to sue for the injuries received in August 2018 after police officers at the intersection of Seke and Delport roads shot twice at a private vehicle she was travelling in as a passenger.

Chiriseri sued Matanga, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe, Chief Inspector Modwick Musonza, the Officer in Charge of St Mary’s Police Station in Chitungwiza and Finance Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube for damages.

In court, Iliff argued that the police officer who shot Chiriseri applied excessive force and that the officer’s constitutional right was exercised in an overzealous and questionable manner.

In her ruling, Justice Mushore noted that Chiriseri posed no danger to the public or to the internal security of the country or to law and order and that she was an unarmed non-threatening passenger in a vehicle.

The police officer, Justice Mushore said, had no basis to fire a weapon at a civilian target and if it was his intention to stop the driver of the vehicle in which Chiriseri was travelling in from proceeding through a checkpoint, he ought to have fired a warning shot into the air.

Source: ZLHR/additional reporting ZCN

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