HARARE – MDC Alliance deputy chairman Job Sikhala is suing Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe for wrongful arrest.
Sikhala was arrested after addressing a rally in Masvingo in July last year and charged with treason. He was acquitted at the Masvingo High Court on February 14 this year.
Through his lawyers Muchadehama, Mbizo and Makoni, Sikhala said Kazembe caused untold suffering to him emotionally and physically.
He is demanding compensation for $1.5 million.
Sikhala says in High Court papers that he was not able to work for his family during the time he was on remand.
Also being sued with Kazembe are Police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga, CID Law and Order and several police officers who were part of the arresting details and some who allegedly tormented him as a suspect.
Broken down, the claim includes Z$200,000 being damages for unlawful and wrongful arrest; Z$300,000 for pain, shock and suffering; Z$200,000 being damages for unlawful and wrongful detention; Z$300,000 special damages for loss of income; Z$200,000 for malicious prosecution and a further US$300,000 for travel, accommodation and subsistence during his trial.
Sikhala, in an affidavit, said he was subjected to torture from the time he was arrested after handing himself over to CID Law and Order in Harare.
He was initially detained at Harare Central Police Station cells where he was not given blankets to cover himself.
“There was no running water in the cells and no toilet paper was provided,” wrote his lawyers.
The lawyers said their client was denied an opportunity to see them.
A day after his arrest, Sikhala said he was blind-folded and driven to Masvingo without the knowledge of his lawyers.
He said along the way to Masvingo, he was physically and verbally abused by police officers who travelled with him.
He said the officers would assault and insult him and also made several threats.
“He was denied an opportunity to relive himself despite a specific relief to answer the call of nature, ” said the lawyers.
He said while at Remand Prison in Masvingo, the officers allowed a mentally-ill inmate into his cell.
The prisoner would defecate in his blankets, leaving him to bear the stench smell and bear cold nights.
Sikhala told the High Court that as a member of the National Assembly he was entitled to allowances from parliament but failed to get the money because he missed some sittings.
The case is yet to be heard.