A Harare Magistrate has punished Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Hon. Felix Mhona by ordering him to pay more than ZWL500 000 in damages to a Chitungwiza resident as compensation for negligence after he sustained injuries when he fell into an uncovered roadside trench at Mbudzi roundabout in Harare.
The Magistrate recently granted the order after the 39 year-old Shepherd Chishiri was assisted by Tinashe Chinopfukutwa of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights to sue Mhona and City of Harare for damages arising from negligence by the two on the basis that City of Harare and the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development breached their duty of care by leaving the roadside trench unmarked and uncovered.
In court, Chishiri said he broke his right leg and had to undergo an operation in hospital at his own expense after he fell into an uncovered roadside trench at Mbudzi roundabout along Simon Mazorodze road in Harare on 23 February 2020 in the evening after he had disembarked from a commuter omnibus.
He blamed Mhona and City of Harare for leaving an open storm water drain and for failing to guard members of the public from foreseeable harm.
The storm water drain, Chishiri said, was unmarked such that it was impossible for him to ascertain its existence.
Chishiri told the court that he suffered a nine percent permanent disability and hence as an avid social soccer player he cannot play his favourite sport anymore and can no longer continuously drive a vehicle.
The Magistrate ordered Mhona to pay Chishiri ZWL506 949 broken down as ZWL200 000 as damages for pain and suffering, ZWL250 000 being damages for future medical expenses, ZWL50 000 for loss of social amenities in life and ZWL6 949 being special damages for medical expenses incurred.
Hon. Mhona, who through his lawyers from the Attorney General’s Office told the court that he was not opposed to Chishiri’s application and would abide by the court’s decision, was also ordered to pay US$1 470 as special damages to cover some medical expenses which Chishiri incurred.
Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights