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Accident victim sues Ministry, driver for $700k

By Mashudu Netsianda

A Bulawayo man who was injured when his car was involved in a head on collision with a Ministry of Finance and Economic Development vehicle is suing the ministry and its driver for nearly $700 000 in damages.

File picture of accident
File picture of accident

Mr Sense Gowe, the driver of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development vehicle, a Toyota Landcruiser, was travelling along the Bulawayo-Harare road when he lost control of the car which encroached into the lane of oncoming traffic resulting in a head on collision with Mr Stanley Stanslous Mthombeni Ndlovu’s Mazda BT50.

Mr Ndlovu sustained a fracture on his right leg.

The accident occurred on April 29 in 2017 near Cement Siding in Bulawayo. Mr Gowe was heading towards Harare while Mr Ndlovu was driving in the opposite direction.

Mr Ndlovu through his lawyer, Mr Kholwani Ngwenya of TJ Mabhikwa and Partners, filed summons at the Bulawayo High Court citing Mr Gowe and the Finance Ministry as defendants.

In papers before the court, Mr Ndlovu said the accident left him disfigured and with a permanent disability on his right leg.

He is demanding $690 607,52 from the defendants being damages for pain and suffering, permanent disfigurement, trauma, discomfort, loss and limitation of amenities in life, past and future medical expenses including the money for repairing his damaged car.

He accused the driver of negligence and recklessness.

“The road traffic accident was solely caused by the first defendant (Mr Gowe). In fact, he negligently drove his motor vehicle, more specifically in that he was travelling at an excessive speed in the prevailing circumstances and failed to keep his vehicle under proper control. He failed to act reasonably when an accident seemed imminent,” Mr Ndlovu said.

“As a result of the accident which was solely caused by the first defendant’s negligent driving conduct, I was badly injured and suffered a compound fracture which left me hospitalised at Mater Dei Hospital where I had to undergo a surgical operation.”

Mr Ndlovu said he endured pain and suffering as a result of the accident and was subjected to trauma, shock and discomfort.

“As a result of the accident which was solely caused by the first defendant and during the scope of his employment by the second defendant (Ministry of Finance and Economic Development), my car, a Mazda BT50, was extensively damaged. The cheapest quotation was a sum of US$16 152, which is equivalent to $161 520 at the prevailing interbank rate.

“Wherefore plaintiff prays for $690 607,52 being total amount of damages arising from the road traffic accident,” said Mr Ndlovu.

He also wants an order directing the defendants to pay the money at an interest rate of five percent per annum calculated from the date of issue of summons to the date of full and final payment.

The defendants are yet to respond. The Chronicle