Minister Dodges Jail Time After Compensating Police Brutality Victim

Home Affairs Minister Hon. Kezembe Kazembe has evaded serving jail time after his ministry rushed make a timeous payment of RTGS$199 500 as compensation to Simon Mandoza, a Gweru-based student, who was brutalised by some Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) members in 2018.

Hon. Kazembe had been given an ultimatum by Harare Magistrate Tilda Mazhande to pay Mandoza or be sentenced to serve 60 days in prison. The ultimatum was issued after Hon. Kazembe reneged on complying with a court order compelling him to compensate Mandoza for damages which he suffered when he was assaulted by some law enforcement agents two years ago.

But on Tuesday 27 October 2020, a legal advisor in Hon. Kazembe’s ministry only identified as P Madziviridze advised Mandoza’s lawyers Fiona Iliff and Obey Shava of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) through a letter that payment had been effected and attached a proof of payment confirming the transfer of funds.

Through his lawyers, Mandoza sued Hon. Kazembe and ZRP Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga after some police officers arrested the college student on 20 September 2018 while he was standing outside a fast food outlet in Harare’s central business district (CBD), waiting for his brother to pick him up. Unbeknown to him, some ZRP members were carrying out an operation against alleged informal traders in the CBD at that time.

Mandoza was assaulted by ZRP members and then forced to get into the back of a police vehicle. While in the vehicle, ZRP members poked Mandoza with a truncheon on his shoulder and at the back of his head, threatening him with further assault. Mandoza was taken to Harare Central Police Station, where he was finally released without a charge
being preferred against him.

Mandoza becomes the latest person among dozens of people assisted by ZLHR to successfully sue ZRP members and Cabinet ministers for payment of damages emanating from the misdemeanors of some state and non-state actors, who violate human rights of others under the guise of acting within the realm of the law or purportedly under some state authority.

By bringing up anti-impunity civil claims against perpetrators, ZLHR aims to deter and discourage acts of human rights violations.

Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)

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