Leaders of violent demonstrations that resulted in the looting of shops and destruction of property in Harare recently face lawsuits as a local organisation, Citizens Against Violence and Anarchy (CAVAA) Trust, has volunteered to fund the victims’ legal costs.
It is understood several lawyers have also volunteered to represent vendors and retailers who lost hundreds of thousands of dollars when demonstrators from the MDC-T and Zimbabwe People First supported by their appendage in the civil society under the ambit of the National Electoral Reform Agenda, ran amok and torched market stalls, looted shops and destroyed property in Harare recently.
Legal practitioners have already indicated that the victims can sue the organisers for compensation. In a statement on Tuesday, CAVAA invited those who lost their wares to register with them so that they could be represented in court.
“We want to assist all corporates, flea markets and individuals whose properties and or business, which were destroyed or affected during the recent violent demonstrations in Harare, which were called for by the National Electoral Reform Agenda,” reads the statement.
“We are going to launch a class action soon against organisations and individuals who operate under the banner of NERA.”
Registration is free and victims will not pay the lawyers who will take the matter to court.
An official with CAVAA, who spoke to The Herald on condition of anonymity, said some of the victims had started registering.
“Everyone who lost their wares or business or those who suffered injury because of those demonstrations will be represented by lawyers whose costs will be taken up by the trust,” said the source.
“The intention is to ensure all those who were affected are fairly represented in court in their quest to recover what they lost.
“They will not pay anything. We have the wherewithal to cater for their legal costs. In fact, there are a number of good lawyers who have come on board and expressed their interest to represent the victims for free. So what is required now is for those who lost their wares to come and register but provide evidence that indeed they lost their property because of the demonstrations.”
The source said CAVAA would sue NERA leaders whom they alleged were responsible for the violent demonstrations.
During the demonstrations, protestors looted shops selling laptops, cellphones, jewellery, electrical gadgets, alcohol, clothing items, fruit and vegetables. Herald