Bulawayo Resident Sues ZRP, Matanga and Kazembe For RTGS $3 Million Over Lockdown Brutality

A 63 year-old Bulawayo resident is suing Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga and Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe for RTGS$3 million as compensation for violation of her fundamental rights after she was brutally assaulted by some ZRP members during last year’s national lockdown.

Lydia Chapalapata, a resident of Nkulumane high-density suburb in Bulawayo was assaulted by Assistant Inspector Brighton Muchingami on 1 April 2020 while she was queuing up to purchase maize meal at Nkulumane Sekusile Shopping Centre.

Muchingambi harassed and assaulted her all over her body with a truncheon alleging that she was violating national lockdown regulations. Muchingambi threatened Chapalapata stating there was no recourse at law for her as he was empowered by the national lockdown regulations promulgated by government to assault her.

Chapalapata sustained injuries on her back, thighs, head, and on her knees and suffered trauma, anxiety and shock as a result of the incident and had to be hospitalised at Mpilo Central Hospital for treatment and was later referred for specialised medical attention.

Following the assault, Chapalapata engaged Prisca Dube of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, who recently filed summons at Bulawayo Magistrates Court suing Muchingami, the Officer in Charge of Nkulumane Police Station, Matanga and Kazembe, whom she cited as respondents, claiming payment of damages amounting to RTGS$3 million for pain and suffering as well as medical expenses she incurred.

In her summons, the Bulawayo resident said as a result of the defendants’ conduct, she suffered damages amounting to RTGS$3 million broken down as RTGS$2.5 million being damages for pain and suffering, trauma and nervous shock while RTGS$500 000 will cater for future medical expenses.

Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights

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