Sikhala slaps minister with US$3m lawsuit for ‘unlawful’ arrest
By Blessed Mhlanga
MDC vice-chairman Job Sikhala is demanding US$3 million from Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe following his arrest for treason last year, which he says was unlawful.
Sikhala, who was recently acquitted by the Masvingo High Court on charges of plotting to stage a coup against President Emmerson Mnangagwa, is also suing police commissioner-general Godwin Matanga and a superintendent Daniel Joseph over the same matter.
According to the summons, the vibrant opposition leader said he was exposed to shock, pain and suffering at the hands of police who blindfolded, insulted and subjected him to pain as they transported him from Harare to Masvingo in July last year.
“Shockingly and unethically despite the fact that a consent to prosecute the matter in Harare had been obtained, the police officers proceeded to transfer Sikhala to Bikita,” reads part of the summons.
“This was done in a barbaric, inhuman and degrading manner. Matanga and Joseph locked Sikhala’s lawyers inside the cells of Harare Central (Police Station) and refused to give them access to Sikhala.”
The Zengeza West MP said the police officers dragged him out of the Harare Central Police Station without informing him about where he was being taken to.
“The plaintiff was taken to the Harare Central car park and shuffled into a Toyota Hilux motor vehicle sandwiched by two armed riot police officers whilst his legal practitioners remained locked in cells,” the lawyers submitted.
Sikhala said as a result of the illegal actions he wanted US$2 million, and a further US$1 million for the pain caused by the “illegal and unlawful actions by the police”.
The lawyers said the MP was denied medication for hypertension while in custody.
“It should be noted that the plaintiff suffers from hypertension and as such must constantly take his medications,” they lawyers added.
“However, in this case the plaintiff was refused access to his medicine.
“This was clearly a violation of the plaintiff’s constitutional right to health and human dignity.”
They accused the police of trying to induce “fear and anguish” by ill-treating Sikhala.
“The treatment he was exposed to was intended to induce fear and anguish,” reads the summons.
“The feelings of fear and anguish generated in him by the treatment had the intended effect of debasing him.” The Standard