Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Kombi passenger loses lawsuit against Potraz

By Mashudu Netsianda

A Bulawayo man has lost a $40 000 lawsuit against the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) which he was suing after sustaining injuries when a kombi he was travelling in was involved in a head on collision with the company’s vehicle.

Public transporters in Bulawayo
File picture of commuter omnibuses in Zimbabwe

The incident occurred on December 31 in 2016 in Bulawayo but the exact location was not mentioned in court papers.

Mr Afesi Mkhweli was a passenger in a kombi which was involved in a head on collision with a Potraz Land Cruiser, which was being driven by Mr Shingirai Marufu, a telecommunications engineer.

Mr Mkhweli, through his lawyer Mr Vonani Majoko of Majoko and Majoko Legal Practitioners, filed an application at the Bulawayo High Court, citing Potraz and Mr Marufu as defendants.

He sought an order directing the defendants to pay him $42 448, 78 being damages for shock, pain and suffering, medical expenses, permanent disability and loss of amenities and future earnings.

Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nokuthula Moyo dismissed the application and absolved the two defendants, saying Mr Mkhweli conceded to Mr Marufu’s account, which exonerated him from any wrongdoing.

“I accordingly hold that the plaintiff (Mr Mkhweli) has failed to establish an essential element of his claim, and that is the defendants’ wrongful conduct on the day in question,” she said.

The judge said there was no prima facie evidence linking Marufu as having been the cause of the accident.

Justice Moyo ordered Mr Mkhweli to pay the legal costs incurred by the defendants.

“I hold that there is no case established by the plaintiff upon which a burden has been cast on the defendants to respond. I accordingly grant defendants’ application for absolution from the instance, with plaintiff ordered to pay the costs,” ruled the judge.

In papers before the court, Mr Mkhweli accused Mr Marufu of negligence and reckless driving. He alleged that Mr Marufu encroached onto the lane of oncoming traffic resulting in the collision with the kombi. He also accused Mr Marufu of speeding.

Mr Mkhweli said he sustained a fracture on his right leg and had to be admitted to hospital for four months.

He said he was now physically incapacitated due to the injuries and had to be forced to leave his job on medical grounds.

The defendants, through their lawyers, Mr Godfrey Nyoni of Moyo and Nyoni Legal Practitioners and Advocate Lucas Nkomo who was instructed by C Kuhuni Attorneys, opposed the application and applied for absolution from the instance.

Both lawyers argued that Mr Marufu’s liability had been negated by Mr Mkhweli’s concessions.

They also argued that during trial there was no evidence which was led to verify the amounts claimed by Mr Mkhweli including the aspect of loss of employment. The Chronicle