Court orders $500K compensation for police brutality

Source: Court orders $500K compensation for police brutality | Newsday (News)

BY HARRIET CHIKANDIWA

HOME Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe and Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga have been ordered to pay more than $500 000 compensation to two Beitbridge residents who were attacked by police dogs last year.

Edmund Zeyazeya and Benson Tawengwa sued Kazembe and Matanga for damages amounting to $3 million and $1 million respectively after they were severely bitten by a police dog on August 1, 2020 at a fuel station in the border town.

Police officers enforcing a COVID-19 lockdown arrested the duo to cover up for their negligence in handling the police dog and charged them with disorderly conduct.

Zeyazeya and Tawengwa were fined and released on the same day.

Through their lawyer, Patrick Tererai of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, they later on challenged the conviction that was made based on the fine which they paid and sought an order for the refund of their money. The order was granted in September 2020. They then filed summons on December 4, 2020 at Beitbridge Magistrates Court demanding compensation. Lawyers representing the police recently agreed to pay $425 000 to Zeyazeya and $85 000 to Tawengwa as damages arising from the unlawful conduct by the law enforcement agents.

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