HOME Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe and
Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga
have evaded imprisonment after compensating Loveness Chiriseri, a
victim of police shooting.
Kazembe and Matanga risked being imprisoned for contempt of court
after they failed to pay compensation to Chiriseri as ordered by High
Court Judge Justice Edith Mushore in July 2020.
But on Thursday 6 May 2021, ZRP saved Kazembe, Matanga and Chief
Inspector Modwick Musonza, the Officer in Charge of St Mary’s Police
Station in Chitungwiza from serving jail time after the law
enforcement agency finally paid compensation amounting to RTGS$1 418
703.09 to Chiriseri as damages for the reckless and indiscriminate
shooting of the Chitungwiza resident.
Chiriseri was awarded US$16 788 in damages after she was assisted by
Fiona Iliff of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights to sue when she shot
by police officers in August 2018. She was injured when a police
officer manning a police checkpoint at the intersection of Seke road
and Delport road shot twice at a private vehicle she was travelling in
as a passenger.
Chiriseri sued Matanga, Kazembe, Chief Inspector Musonza and Finance
Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube for damages for injuries
sustained as a result of the shooting, medical expenses, pain and
suffering, nervous shock and loss of amenities to life.
In court, Iliff argued that the police officer who shot Chiriseri
applied excessive force and that the officer’s constitutional right
was exercised in an overzealous and questionable manner.
In her extensive ruling, Justice Mushore noted that Chiriseri posed no
danger to the public or to the internal security of the country or to
law and order and that she was an unarmed non-threatening passenger in
The police officer, Justice Mushore said, had no basis to fire a
weapon at a civilian target and if it was his intention to stop the
driver of the vehicle in which Chiriseri was travelling in from
proceeding through a checkpoint, he ought to have fired a warning shot
into the air.
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