By Peter Matambanadzo
Two widows who lost their husband after he was fatally run over by a dumper at Mbada Diamonds in Chiadzwa last year are now claiming US$700 000 as compensation from the mining firm.
The two, Mrs Egnia Nyanzou and Mrs Mwanyara Njanji, blame the company for the death of their husband, Netsai David Matsika last year. He was working at the mine as a security officer at the time of his death.
According to their claim filed at the High Court, the widows want the company to compensate them for loss of support, pain and suffering following the death of their husband on December 18 last year.
According to the claim prepared by their lawyers Mugiya and Macharaga their husband had been working as security officer at the mine since 2009 until his death.
“On the 18th of December 2012 Blessing Karinda defendants (Mbada Diamonds) while driving a dumper during the course and scope of his employment caused the death of plaintiffs husband by running over him,” read part of the claim.
The widows contend that on the fateful day their husband was in uniform and performing his duties when he died on the spot due to negligent conduct of Mbada Diamonds driver.
“Defendant (Mbada Diamonds) is vicariously liable for the negligent conduct of its employee and responsible for the death,” they stated in the papers.
As a result they said their family were demanding US$500 000 for loss of support and US$200 000 for pain and suffering.
But Mbada Diamonds has denied causing Mr Matsika’s death arguing that he had failed to keep a proper look out. It blamed Matsika for causing his own demise after venturing into a no-go area for pedestrians.
“The deceased recklessly, negligently and irresponsibly ignored all safety and precautionary measures . . . of a reasonable person in the circumstances.”
Mbada Diamonds in their summary of evidence further denied any liability arising from the death of Mr Matsika. The firm also argues that at the time of his death Matsika was not working on the station that he was supposed to be.
. . . his duties did not entail being in the proximate area of where the machinery was operating at the time of the accident.”
The company also argues that the machinery is so big and moves at a slow speed to such an extent that it is always possible for a person to see that a dumper is coming their way and move themselves from harm.
“The deceased’s failure to move himself from the path of the machinery squarely puts the cause of the accident on the deceased.
The mining company also argues that the quantum of damages claimed were “thumb sucked figures”. The case is yet to be heard. The Herald