Thursday, 18 June 2020

MAWARIRE SEEKS US$65K DAMAGES FROM COPS


Activist Evan Mawarire has filed an urgent chamber application with the High Court where he is seeking to have his case in which he is claiming damages amounting to US$65 000 from the police be reset down for trial after it was struck off the roll last month.

In the matter Mawarire cited Minister of Home Affairs, Commissioner General of Zimbabwe Republic Police as first and second respondents respectively while the Assistant Commissioner General Chrispen Makedenge, Detective Inspector Edmore Runganga and Detective Inspector Phiri as third to fifth respondents.

“The default judgment entered against the applicant (Mawire) on 8 June 2020 be and is hereby rescinded. The Registrar shall reset the matter down for trial on the continuous roll and cost be on the cause,” reads the order being sought for.

Mawarire said his default in court was not willful but was a result of an error caused by his receptionist.
“As appears on the set down notice, it was received by the receptionist on 4 June 2020 at 12:09 hours. However, the receptionist did not forward the notice to me on time as I only got to realise it later after 1200hours on 8 June and this matter had been set down for trial at 1000hours. In fact, a colleague who was in court that day called and advised that the matter had been struck off the roll because no one had appeared,” he said.

Mawarire’s claim was of payment by the respondents in the sum of US$20 000 being general damages arising from wrong arrests and detentions by the respondents from 1 February 2017 to 29 November 2017 for demonstrating and expressing his freedom of expression.

He also claimed US$15 000 for damages in loss of income, US$20 000 for damages of pain and suffering as well as US$10 000 for general damages for contumelia and interests on the above sums.

Mawarire filed the lawsuit on 5 June, 2018 and the respondents filed their appearance to defend on 21 June and a pretrial was conducted before Justice Tsanga on 21 March 2019. 

The matter was referred for trial and Mawarire made a trial application on 16 March 2020 and the matter was sat down for trial on 8 June.

His claims are based on his subsequent arrests and detentions which he said were unlawful in that he was acquitted of all the charges at Magistrates Courts. Herald


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