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January 2019 protest: victims’ wife demands $900k compensation

A Marondera woman, has petitioned the High Court demanding ZWL$901 000 compensation after her husband was shot and killed by members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) during the January 2019 demonstration that had been organised by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) in protest over the sharp increases of basic commodities,.  

In her declaration Guwa said she is claiming damages for the death of her husband, one Solomon Nyaruwa, who was shot and killed on January 15, 2019.

“The plaintiff’s (Erenia Guwa) claim is for damages arising as a result of the unlawful shooting and killing of plaintiff’s husband (Solomon Nyaruwa) perpetrated by members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) in Marondera,” the lawyers said.

“The actions of the ZRP officers were unlawful, unjustified and wrongful. The deceased was a general dealer and a bread winner to plaintiff and her two minor children. The deceased owed a legal duty of support to his immediate family during his lifetime,” the lawyers said.

“At all material times, the members of the ZRP involved in the killing of the plaintiff’s husband were acting within the course and scope of their duties. As such, the defendants are vicariously liable to their actions,” they said.

“By reason of the death of plaintiff’s husband from the wrongful and unlawful killing, the plaintiff has suffered and will suffer damages in the total sum of ZWL$901 000 arrived at as detailed hereunder; funeral expenses amounting to ZWL$1000, shock, pain and suffering amounting to ZWL$300 000 and loss of prospective support in the sum of ZWL$600 000.”

She said, despite demand, the ZRP and Commissioner General of Police, Godwin Matanga, have failed, refused or neglected to pay leading to the current lawsuit.

Both the ZRP and Matanga are yet to respond.

Erenia Guwa is one of more than 40 individuals who, on Friday last week, filed summons against the ZRP and the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) claiming more than ZWL$14 million against the country’s security forces and the military over savage assaults and killings.

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