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Woman seeks $300k compensation over January fuel protest assault

A Chinhoyi woman has petitioned the High court seeking $300 000 compensation for the assault that was perpetrated on her by four members of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) in January this year.

The assault victim, Jestina Jonga, recently issued summons against Defence, Security and War Veterans minister, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, together with Home Affairs minister, Cain Mathema and Commissioner General of Police, Godwin Matanga, in their official capacities as co-respondents in the lawsuit.

In her chronological order of events, Jonga said she was at home on January 14, 2019 at around 9pm when four uniformed members of the armed forces of Zimbabwe raided her place of residence in Chinhoyi.

“On the day in question the plaintiff (Jonga) was at her place of residence when four o9fficers invaded her home and questioned the plaintiff in relation to the violence that had reportedly occurred in Chinhoyi CBD on the same day. The said officers proceeded to assault the plaintiff with sticks on her thighs and legs,” Jonga’s lawyers from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said.

“As a direct result of this assault the plaintiff was severely injured on her leg and endured excruciating pain. At all material times, the ZNA officers who unlawfully assaulted the plaintiff were acting within the scope of their duties and in the course of their employment with the defendants (Muchinguri-Kashiri, Mathema and Matanga). Defendants are therefore vicariously liable for the unlawful actions of their subordinates.”

Jonga is seeking general damages for unlawful assault, pain and suffering, contumelia and for loss of income occasioned by the conduct of the military officers, who on the day in question, were working under the authority and supervision of the cited top government officials.

Jonga is one of the many victims of assault perpetrated by the military and the police, who have petitioned the court for compensation which is running into millions of dollars. The current lawsuit is pending.

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